Carved Blackware Bowl with Avanyu by Margaret Tafoya


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

Margaret Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

This carved blackware bowl was created by Santa Clara Pueblo matriarch Margaret Tafoya. It's a low, wide shape with an appropriately wide-open rim. As is always the case with Tafoya's works, it is well-balanced, symmetrical, and has no obvious flaws or issues of any sort. Tafoya operated at a high level throughout her storied career, and her incredible skill is apparent in the quality of vessels like this one.

The bowl's exterior is slipped and highly polished to a beautiful sheen, leaving a softly reflective surface. A single carved design band appears, reaching from about half an inch below the rim down to about an inch below the bowl's widest point. An Avanyu is carved in relief, circling the entire bowl, with its lightning tongue reaching all the way to a pair of raised fins near the tip of its tail. As with the vessel itself, Tafoya's work with the carved designs is remarkable.

The bottom of the jar is signed Margaret Tafoya.

Artist signature of Margaret Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

Margaret Tafoya (1904 - 2001) Corn Blossom was born August 13, 1904, at Santa Clara Pueblo. Margaret learned her skills from her parents, Sara Fina Gutierrez Tafoya and Jose Geronimo Tafoya, who were expert potters. Margaret and her mother were known for their ability to make unusually large storage jars and water jars. She believed the secret to her technique were her polishing stones, which had been passed down through the generations. She taught many of her nine children how to make pottery. Virginia Ebelacker, Mela Youngblood, Toni Roller, LuAnn Tafoya, and Esther Archuleta are among the long list of Tafoya's descendants who are or were successful potters. In 1985, Tafoya was one of three New Mexicans selected to receive the Governor's Award, New Mexico's highest artistic honor, awarded for a major contribution to the arts of New Mexico. Her works are included in prominent museum collections worldwide, and she is often listed among the most influential Native artists.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Carved Blackware Bowl with Avanyu by Margaret Tafoya is from a private New Mexico collection

Recommended Reading: Born of Fire: The Pottery of Margaret Tafoya by Charles S. King

TAGS: Santa Clara PuebloSara Fina Gutierrez Tafoya, Virginia EbelackerMela YoungbloodToni RollerLuAnn TafoyaMargaret Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

Alternate view of this blackware vessel.

Margaret Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
C4713C-bowl.jpgC4713C-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.