Rose Gonzales Carved Blackware Plate with Bird Design


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Rose Cata Gonzales, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter

This carved blackware plate was made by Rose Gonzales of San Ildefonso Pueblo. Gonzales was a versatile and creative potter who made pieces in a wide variety of forms during her long career. She also used a wide variety of designs, most of which were traditional in subject matter but personalized in style and execution.

With this piece, Gonzales offered a carved blackware plate. A wonderful and notably unique bird design is carved in relief, leaving raised sections of polished black slip for the bird's form, and matte gray in the surrounding areas. Rain clouds emerge diagonally from the outer rim, and the black slip is polished beautifully and consistently. This plate and the bird depicted within it are attractive and full of character.

Artist signature of Rose Cata Gonzales, San Ildefonso Pueblo PotterThe back of the plate is signed Rose.

Rose Cata Gonzales (1900-1989) was originally from Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan) Pueblo. She married Robert Gonzales of San Ildefonso Pueblo and moved there with him. Rose was a sister of Pomasena Sanchez. She was the mother of Jose H. Rainbird Gonzales, Tse-Pé Gonzales, and Marie Gonzales Yazzie. Rose learned pottery making from Ramona Sanchez Gonzales, her mother-in-law. Rose's parents died from the swine flu epidemic of 1918, leaving Rose and her sister Pomasena orphaned. The girls survived by staying at the Santa Fe Indian School. Mary Cata, a relative, adopted and cared for the girls.

In the 1920s, Rose learned first how to make polished blackware. She then learned the new technique of black-on-black pottery, using a matte black pigment for designs. Rose also learned the older technique of black-on-red pottery, most often associated with Tonita Martinez Roybal (1892-1945) Antonita, and her mother. Rose was credited as the innovator of deep carved pottery around 1930 at San Ildefonso. She sometimes collaborated with her son, Tse-Pé, especially in duotones. She was active as a potter from 1929 until her death in 1989, and she received many notable awards and accolades for her work.

Condition: good condition, with a few light abrasions

Provenance: this Rose Gonzales Carved Blackware Plate with Bird Design is from a private collection

Reference and Recommended ReadingPueblo Indian Pottery: 750 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf.

TAGS: Ohkay Owingeh - San Juan PuebloSan Ildefonso PuebloMarie Gonzales YazziepotteryRamona Sanchez GonzalesTonita RoybalTse-PéRose Cata Gonzales

Alternate side view of this black plate.

Rose Cata Gonzales, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter
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