Alvin Curran, Ohkay Owingeh Potter
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Pottery made by Alvin Curran is considered the finest of all the traditional Ohkay Owingeh pottery produced in the last quarter of the 20th century. His designs were meticulously outlined in pencil, and then carved into the clay once Curran was satisfied with the overall appearance. If not satisfied, he sanded off the pencil designs, and started anew.
Alvin Curran (c.1953-1999) was the only male potter at Ohkay Owingeh (formerly San Jan Pueblo) at the time he was making pottery there. He was part Ohkay Owingeh and part Quechan, a desert people along the southwest border between Arizona and California. He began living at Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo at the age of one year with his maternal grandparents. He served as Chief of Police at the pueblo until his health prevented him from doing so. At that time, his mother-in-law encouraged him to learn to make pottery because she thought he would do well since there were few potters at the pueblo and he would be the only male potter. Curran certainly learned rapidly and well.
Alvin Curran married Dolores. They had a daughter Ulrsula Curran who followed in their footsteps and is making pottery as well.