San Ildefonso Pueblo Large Pottery Jar with Brown Finish by Carmelita Dunlap

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Carmelita Dunlap, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter

This very large jar made by Carmelita Dunlap of San Ildefonso Pueblo features a black matte design on a brown polished surface.  A potter explained to us the process of obtaining the brown finish.  When a red-slipped jar is fired in a reduction firing, the red slip turns black.  At this point, if the manure is removed from the firing, the jar attempts to return to red, but is only able to do so partway, ending up with the brown finish.  Carmelita and her son, Carlos, were experts at achieving the brown finish.

Artist Signature of Carmelita Dunlap, San Ildefonso Pueblo PotterCarmelita was the daughter of Juanita and Romando Vigil of San Ildefonso Pueblo.  Her mother passed away when Carmelita was very young and her mother’s two sisters, Maria Martinez and Desideria Montoya, raised her.  She took turns staying with Maria for a few months and then with Desideria for a few months.  She learned to make pottery by watching Maria and Desideria at work.

Carmelita Dunlap (1925-1999) lived in California in the early 1950s while her dad worked for Walt Disney Studios.  In 1955, she moved back to San Ildefonso and began seriously focusing on pottery.  In 1974, she was one of the pueblo potters invited by former United States President and Mrs. Nixon to visit the White House.  At that time, one of her large pottery jars was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution. 


Condition: very good condition with only minor scratches to the matte design

Provenance: this San Ildefonso Pueblo Large Pottery Jar with Brown Finish by Carmelita Dunlap is from the collection of a gentleman from Virginia

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

Relative Links: Southwest Indian PotteryRomando VigilSan Ildefonso PuebloDesideria MontoyaMaria MartinezCarlosBlue CornCarmelita Dunlap, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter

Alternate side view of this pottery jar.

Carmelita Dunlap, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter
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