Teresita Naranjo Tall Blackware Jar with Bear Paws


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Teresita Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo Pottery

Teresita Naranjo: Mastering the Art of Blackware Pottery

Teresita Naranjo, a native of Santa Clara Pueblo, was a master potter renowned for her expertise in traditional carved red and blackware styles. Her repertoire encompassed a diverse range of forms, with a notable proficiency in crafting larger pieces, a feat that poses significant challenges even for seasoned potters.

One of her remarkable creations is a carved blackware jar that stands as a testament to her exceptional skills. The jar's aesthetic appeal is undeniable, with its stylish vessel form captivating the observer from every angle. Standing over a foot tall, the jar features a gentle shoulder that seamlessly transitions into a slim neck, culminating in a slightly flared rim.

Naranjo's artistic prowess is further highlighted by the intricate designs she carved and impressed onto the vessel. Four bear paws, evenly spaced around the jar's widest point, add a unique touch. Above these bear paws, a carved band extends, its vertical lines, slender triangular forms, and inverted U shapes etched into the clay. This inventive work results in feather designs above and a mix of semicircular and triangular forms below, all executed with remarkable precision and an admirable sense of style. This piece is not just a jar, but a testament to Naranjo's mastery of her craft.

Artist signature of Teresita Tafoya Naranjo (1919-1999) Apple Blossom - Bay-Po-Vi Santa Clara PuebloThe bottom of the jar is signed Teresita Naranjo, ‘Apple Blossom,' Santa Clara Pueblo.

Teresita Tafoya Naranjo (1919-1999) Apple Blossom - Bay-Po-Vi has been acknowledged as one of the finest 20th century potters at Santa Clara Pueblo. She was born in 1919 and passed away on January 2, 1999, at her home at Santa Clara Pueblo. Her unexpected death was a loss to all pottery collectors. Naranjo was the daughter of Victor and Christina Naranjo and wife of Joe Naranjo, mother to Stella Tafoya Chavarria, niece to Margaret Tafoya, and the granddaughter of Sara Fina Tafoya. After her husband's passing in 1950, she supported her family solely through sales of her pottery. She was a master potter—one of the finest of her pueblo—and was active from 1935 to 1999. She was known for her intricately carved blackware and redware in the Santa Clara style.

Condition: very good condition, a few light abrasions on lower section

Provenance: this Teresita Naranjo Tall Blackware Jar with Bear Paws is from the estate of a family from Albuquerque

Recommended Reading: Santa Clara Pottery Today by Betty LeFree, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1975

TAGS: Santa Clara PuebloChristina NaranjoStella Tafoya ChavarriaMargaret TafoyaSara Fina TafoyaPueblo PotteryTeresita Naranjo

Teresita Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo Pottery
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