Stella Teller, Isleta Pueblo Potter

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Stella Teller: A Legacy of Pottery and Storytelling

Stella J. Teller (1929 – )  at Adobe Gallery - photo credit: Adobe Gallery - do not copy.

Stella Teller, an award-winning artist, has carved a niche for herself in the world of pottery. Her journey began in the quaint studio at Isleta Pueblo, where she followed the footsteps of her great-grandmother Marcellina Jojola, grandmother Emeklia Lente Carpio, and mother Felicita Jojola, all of whom were skilled potters. At the tender age of eight, Stella's hands first molded clay, assisting her mother in slipping and polishing petite pots.

Born in 1929, Stella J. Teller has dedicated her life to crafting storyteller and nacimiento figurines. Her talent was recognized in 1978, the same year Adobe Gallery opened its doors in Albuquerque, when she won her first prize. Stella's pottery stands out from traditional Isleta Polychrome wares due to its distinctive colors, which she claims are all natural. Her trademark light gray color is a result of mixing white clay with manganese. Stella was a pioneer in inserting turquoise cabs into the clay, adding a unique touch to her creations.

Artist signature of Stella Teller, Isleta Pueblo Potter

Not one to limit herself, Stella expanded her repertoire to include storyteller figurines representing Navajo, Isleta Pueblo, Apache, and Hopi males and females. She holds the credit for creating the first storyteller to represent a Navajo.

Stella's work has gained international recognition. One of her earlier pieces was showcased in the Smithsonian Institute's traveling exhibit in 1987. Her creations are also displayed in museums and galleries across various states including California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Mexico.

Stella's legacy continues through her four daughters - Chris, Mona, Robin, and Lynette Teller, who have all followed in their mother's footsteps and become successful potters. Stella Teller's story is a testament to her dedication, creativity, and the enduring appeal of traditional pottery.

Image of Stella Teller: copyright Adobe Gallery and the artist.

TAGS: figurines, Isleta PueblopotteryNavajoApache, Hopi, ChrisMonaRobin