Pueblo Pottery - The Artists Who Make Them (Episode 1)
Eric Tafoya :: Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico
Produced By: Lynn Creative Design Studio based in Santa Fe, NM
Pottery Of The Southwest
223 - A, Canyon Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87501
My name is Eric Tafoya. I'm from Santa Clara Pueblo. I've been doing Santa Clara Pottery for over 20 years. I'm going to explain a little of the process of how the pottery is made from start to finish.
Here we have our polishing slip (puts hand on top of covered plastic cup on his right). We use this to glaze the pottery to get the sheen – a shiny film on it. And then we use these smooth rocks (picks up rock) to polish it. The polishing takes anywhere from 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the pot. Sometimes longer.
This is the actual pot (picks up unfinished small clay pot). This is the way it looks before it is polished. Every pot is polished single handedly until the slip dries completely.
The materials that we use are all natural from mother earth herself.
- The clay (touches package of clay) that we dig up on the Santa Clara Pueblo reservation.
- The white volcanic ash that we use to bond the clay together.
- The polishing slip that consists of water mixed with natural red clay dug out from the foothills.
- We may use wild plants called Guaco, pulverized iron ore and other natural ingredients for paint.
- This is the clay itself that we use to start forming the pot.
This is pretty much the process we use before the firing process begins. For the bigger pieces, of course, it takes a much longer time to form and create the pieces from start to finish. It depends on the size of the pottery itself and in the time conception we use when we are creating our pieces.
Thank-you for allowing me to explain the process of our Native American traditional Santa Clara Pueblo pottery. I hope you have a good trip home and thank-you very much.
- End of Episode 1
- And we at Lynn Creative thank Eric Tafoya and Pottery Of The Southwest for permission to publish this episode of Pueblo Pottery - The Artists Who Make Them.
ERIC TAFOYA BIO:
Eric Tafoya was born in 1969 into the Santa Clara-Tewa Pueblo. His interest in pottery was sparked at the age of 19 while watching his aunt, Gwen Tafoya, and his mother, Wanda Tafoya, coil pottery. The Tafoya family has been making pottery since the early 1900’s and the tradition is being carried on by Eric.
Eric specializes in the traditional hand coiled Santa Clara pottery with the classic black finish usually etched or with added sgraffito designs. Eric also adds the flare of a burned red brim and hues to his work. He etches flowers, hummingbirds and designs of feathers on his pottery..