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Santa Clara Pueblo Black Polished Jar

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Tina Garcia (1957 - 2005)
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Medium: clay
  • Size: 5-⅜” height x 6-⅜” diameter
  • Item # C4180B
  • Price: $795.00

Each of the northern Rio Grande *Tewa pueblos historically produced some sort of black pottery.  Originally used for utilitarian purposes, these vessels were simple, elegant, and beautiful. Many modern day potters have tried and failed to achieve the elegance and classic beauty of historic-era Tewa pottery. Tina Garcia was successful in creating modern vessels that honor her ancestors’ traditional methods.

Tina Garcia was the granddaughter of Severa Tafoya. Her mother was from Santa Clara Pueblo and her father from Ohkay Owingeh. She learned pottery making from her grandmother and her aunt, Angela Baca.  She was producing blackware herself by the time she was eleven. When she decided to become a career potter, she spent time in museums studying the artform. After spending time with the collections at the School of American Research in Santa Fe, she came to the decision to only create pieces that reflected the classic Tewa shapes and forms. She made pots that honored the traditional forms with a beautifully polished modern finish.

This finely polished jar by Tina Garcia is a tribute to her ancestors.  A perfectly shaped body meets the shoulder where an elegantly shaped neck rises to meet a slightly flared rim. The jar was stone polished and left without any form of decoration.  The vessel shape itself is the art form. It is the same vessel shape seen in works by Sara Fina Tafoya in the late 1800s. Tina’s work is highly collectible and desirable, as it is at once modern and traditional.  This is an excellent piece from a very special potter.


Condition: this Santa Clara Pueblo Black Polished Jar is in original condition.  

Provenance: from the collection of a client from Texas who purchased it in 1987 directly from the artist

Recommended Reading: Santa Clara Pottery Today by Betty LeFree

*Pueblo Languages:

Hopi: the language spoken by the Puebloan people of Hopi, Arizona.

Keres: the language spoken by the Puebloan people of Acoma, Cochiti, Laguna, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo, and Zia Pueblos are so closely related that linguists usually consider them dialects of a single language, known as Keres or Keresan.

Tewa or Tano: one of three Kiowa-Tanoan languages spoken by the Pueblo people of New Mexico. Though these three languages are closely related, speakers of one cannot fully understand speakers of another. The six Tewa-speaking pueblos are NambePojoaqueSan IldefonsoSan JuanSanta Clara, and Tesuque.

Tiwa: one of three Kiowa-Tanoan languages spoken by the Pueblo people of New Mexico. Though these languages are closely related, speakers of one cannot fully understand speakers of another.  Many Tiwa elders believe that their language is not intended to be written and must be preserved by oral traditions alone. Some Tiwa people disagree with this position and think that using Tiwa as a written language will help keep it alive for future generations.  The five Tiwa-speaking pueblos are Isleta, Picuris, Sandia, Taos, Tigua (Ysleta del Sur Pueblo).

Towa or Jemez: the language spoken by the Puebloan people of Jemez.

Zuñi: the language spoken by the Puebloan people of Zuni.

Tina Garcia (1957 - 2005)
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Medium: clay
  • Size: 5-⅜” height x 6-⅜” diameter
  • Item # C4180B
  • Price: $795.00

C4180B-black.jpgC4180B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.