Margaret Tafoya Carved Blackware Wedding Vase [SOLD]


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

Margaret Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Pottery Matriarch

Harmony Unearthed: Margaret Tafoya's Blackware Wedding Vase

This exquisite blackware wedding vase, meticulously carved by the revered matriarch Margaret Tafoya, stands as a beacon of tradition and innovation within the rich tapestry of pueblo pottery. Let us explore the intricacies that make this piece truly exceptional:

  1. Form and Function:
    • Crafted with precision, this vase exemplifies the timeless wedding vessel form. Its rounded base cradles two tall spouts, elegantly linked by an arch—a symbolic union of two lives.
    • The wide, flat base ensures stability, allowing the piece to grace any flat surface with poise and grace.
    • As your fingers trace its contours, take a moment to appreciate the meticulous polishing—a hallmark of Tafoya's work. The surface gleams, inviting contemplation.
  2. Carved Bands and Symmetry:
    • Encircling the vase's exterior, two bands tell stories etched in clay. Each detail bears witness to Tafoya's mastery.
    • The upper band gracefully follows the base of each spout, forming symmetrical C shapes that converge at their ends. These arcs echo the cyclical nature of life and love.
    • Just above the vase's widest point, the lower band rests—a horizontal line that anchors the design. From this line, carved motifs ascend, breathing life into the space between the bands.
  3. Motifs and Movement:
    • Let your eyes linger on the intricacies:
      • The Avanyu: Coiled and fierce, the Avanyu (water serpent) exhales lightning—a guardian of water, a protector of life. Its sinuous form weaves tales of ancient rivers.
      • Blackware: a distinctive and classy look preferred by most.
    • These motifs dance in shadow, creating a symphony of movement and energy—an ode to existence and fertility, to renewal of rain and water, and to fertility.
  4. Modest Stature, Profound Impact:
    • Standing at just under ten inches in height, this vase defies its modest scale. Its presence resonates—a testament to Tafoya's vision and skill.
    • As you hold this vessel, imagine the hands that shaped it—the lineage of artisans who perfected the style. Margaret Tafoya's legacy lives on, etched into the clay.

In summary, this blackware wedding vase transcends time, inviting us to celebrate love, honor tradition, and find solace in the enduring beauty of pueblo pottery.

Artist Signature of Margaret Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo PotterAt the bottom of the vase is signed Margaret.  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 was 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.

Adobe Gallery Blog: What is the Purpose of a Wedding Vase?

Condition: very good condition, a few light abrasions

Provenance: this Margaret Tafoya Carved Blackware Wedding Vase is from a private collection

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

TAGS: Santa Clara PuebloSara Fina Gutierrez TafoyaVirginia EbelackerMela YoungbloodToni RollerLuAnn TafoyaManuel Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

Margaret Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Pottery Matriarch
C4636A-wedding.jpgC4636A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.