Margaret Tafoya Carved Blackware Pot with Repetitive Design
This is an extraordinary stone-polished black carved jar by Margaret Tafoya of the Santa Clare Pueblo. This magnificent early piece circa 1950’s, was coil formed in native clay over which was applied a red slip then painstakingly burnished with a polishing stone and fired in a reduction firing resulting in a beautiful black finish. The jar features a 2.5 inch linear band repetitive design motif carved into the upper portion of the body. The remainder of the jar displays a captivating high burnished exterior and attractive bulbous shape.
Margret Tafoya of the Santa Clara Pueblo has been instrumental in bringing about the evolution of pottery design in her village. In the early 1920s, she and her husband, Alcario, were the first to adapt Maria and Julian Martinez’s black-on-black and buff-on-red styles, but they carved, rather than painted designs onto the surface of the vessel. Margaret has long been recognized for her ability to make very large, perfectly symmetrical jars of the type once used by the pueblo people for storage. Tafoya’s work has become synonymous with her village as her seven daughters and other residents have incorporated her techniques and emulated her style in their own works, transforming her innovations into traditions.
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