San Ildefonso Miniature Black Carved Canteen


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Rocky Martinez

We tend to think that all San Ildefonso pottery is either plain black or black-on-black and that all Santa Clara pottery is black carved.  Generally, that is the case, however, there are always exceptions to the rule to enlighten us.


This miniature black canteen has a carved design of clouds and rain.  It is signed with the name Rocky Martinez, a name I was unable to locate in any of my references, but I inquired of Elvis Torres of San Ildefonso to see if he could provide information on the family of Rocky Martinez so that we could place him accurately in our data.  Elvis consulted with Adelphia Martinez (1935-present), daughter of Juanita and Wo-peen Gonzales, who told him that Rocky would sometimes make pottery with his grandmother, Juanita Wo-peen.


I was struck by the similarity of the shape of the canteen and the cloud and rain design to the work of Rose Gonzales.  That similarity is now explainable because Rose Gonzales was aunt to Adelphia Martinez and married to the brother of Wo-peen.  It’s all in the family


Artist signature: Rocky Martinez - San Ildefonso PuebloThe canteen sits at a 45-degree angle which beautifully displays the design.  The three cloud elements are very like those of Rose Gonzales.  The canteen is signed Rocky Martinez San Ildefonso Pueblo.


Condition: very good condition

Provenance:  this San Ildefonso Miniature Black Carved Canteen is from the estate of a long-time Santa Fe family

Recommended Reading: Pueblo Indian Pottery 750 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf

Alternate side view of this canteen.

Rocky Martinez
C3903F-canteen.jpgC3903F-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.