Small Tesuque Pueblo Jar with Historic Design


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Lorencita Pino, Tesuque Pueblo Potter

Artist signature of Lorencita Pino, Tesuque Pueblo Potter

Every once in a while, a piece of pottery comes along that, although relatively newer in date, profoundly honors the work of earlier, more historic times. This is a wonderful jar made by Tesuque potter Lorencita Pino which features elegant historic designs which pay homage to her predecessors at the Pueblo. In fact, Pino specifically chose a work from the mid-19th century for inspiration on this fine piece she made in the mid-20th century.

Seen in figure A on page 186 of "Matte-Paint Pottery of the Tewa, Keres and Zuni Pueblos" by Francis H. Harlow is a jar from Tesuque in which the designs are almost identical to this jar made by Lorencita Pino. Perhaps that piece was made by one of her ancestors and she wanted to honor them, or maybe she just loved the arrangement. Either way, the jar she made has a stunning motif of flowers, circular lines, corn stalks, diamond shapes, and pointed triangular patterns.

The colors of Pino's jar are appropriately traditional, with a beige slip on top of an orangish-brown bottom, with the designs being black. The interior is the same orangish-brown as the bottom. The shape of the piece is quite pleasing to the eye, with a medium base that opens into a wide body and transitions smoothly to a fairly wide mouth.

Underneath it is signed Age 80 Lorencita Pino Tesuque Pueblo Santa Fe, N. Mex.

When Duane Anderson was gathering data for his book, "When Rain Gods Reigned: From Curios to Art at Tesuque Pueblo", he spoke with a number of potters and many of them related what they knew about the early potters at Tesuque Pueblo. One of the interesting and funny comments was from the daughters of Ignacia Duran. To quote from Anderson:

"They told me that in the early 1930s Osalla Padilla, Lorencita Pino, Anastasia Herrera Pino and Marie E. Herrera went from house to house making rain gods. Each individual made sets of legs, arms, bodies, and heads and then assembled about 100 of them. After they dried, the group would make the rounds again and paint the ones they had made earlier. This appears to be the closest the artists ever came to mass-producing rain gods. Lorencita was said to have been the fastest maker, followed by Anastasia Pino."

This account helps us somewhat establish the period of production of Lorencita Pino. If she was productive and good at making pottery in the early 1930s, then she must have been born around 1910. Records indicate that she placed an entry in the 1979 Santa Fe Indian Market and was awarded First Place for the entry.

Condition: Good condition

Provenance: this Small Tesuque Pueblo Jar with Historic Design is from a private collection

Recommended Reading: Matte-Paint Pottery of the Tewa, Keres and Zuni Pueblos by Francis H. Harlow

Recommended Reading:  Exhibit Catalog: Tesuque; Place of the Red Willow. August 9-31, 2002,

Lorencita Pino, Tesuque Pueblo Potter
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