San Ildefonso Pueblo Black-on-Black Terrace Rim Bowl by Maria Martinez - C4104B
Maria and Julian Martinez are perhaps the best-known names in Southwest Indian Pottery. It was because of their enthusiasm for making pottery that it is acknowledged that the pottery revival in New Mexico pueblos, starting in the early 1900s, is their legacy. Their success inspired other San Ildefonso potters and, eventually, inspired potters at other New Mexico pueblos.
Maria and Julian were exposed to pottery being excavated on the Pajarito Plateau in 1907 and excitedly undertook to recreate the ancestral pottery, in their own way. They were inspired by the designs from the ancestral sherds and used them in their newly-made Polychrome pottery.
In 1912, they began making plain polished Black pottery. Black ware existed at all the Tewa villages at the time, but Maria and Julian refined the form and achieved a more highly polished finish that appealed to buyers. It was from this endeavor that their reputation was established. It was also at this time that Julian began painting designs on Maria's vessels with a yucca brush and clay slip.
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