Experience Exceptional Art in Clay | Classic to Contemporary
Welcome to King Galleries Pueblo Pottery and Native American Indian Tribal Art.
We are one of the nation’s premiere galleries for Native American Indian Ceramic Arts.
Our mission is to provide our customers with the highest quality artwork at an excellent price, backed with professional customer care.
Education is one of our primary goals to appreciate the amazing historic legacy of this art form. Our focus is primarily on signed historic Pueblo pottery combined with the works of contemporary and emerging potters.
In October 2016 we will celebrate our 20th year in business, and our 18th year on the internet! Each year we host numerous gallery showings and art events and the new artwork is always online the opening day of the show! We update the New Additions page frequently & you can join us for shows online or in the gallery by viewing our Events page.
King Galleries is pleased to represent the Pueblo pottery of many of today’s leading potters. Over the years, we have taken the time to get to know each of our gallery artists. As each new piece comes into the gallery it is important that we are able to convey the individualistic time and thought that goes into the pottery vessel.
It is important with contemporary pottery to understand the designs and motivation of the artist and their work. Equally, with the “signed historic pottery”, it is critical to present the historic legacy and significance of these pieces from the past.
Today, we are lucky to work with the artists not only in a business manner, but also as friends. This unique connection has guided us since our inception and it continues to be our commitment to represent work by potters who create the highest quality and greatest innovation.
The shape of this long neck jar by Russell Sanchez come from the pieces made by his great-aunt, Rose Gonzales. The jar has a wide shoulder and a long neck. The neck has been two-toned tan and green. Separating the two clay colors are two bands of multi-colored hei-shi beads. The body of the jar is fully polished and impressed with four bear paws. This is one of the few times we have seen bear paws on his pottery! Russell said that he hasn’t done bear paws on pieces since the 1980’s. The lid is also a bear, which completes the concept of the entire piece! The hei-shi beads are made by the Calabaza family of Santo Domingo Pueblo. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay. It’s fascinating how Russell uses these historic elements to keep them alive on his contemporary pottery.
This is a very complex and rather dazzling carved jar by Linda Tafoya-Sanchez. The jar has a feather pattern which extends out from the neck in a swirl pattern. There is an additional swirls sash which also extends down from the rim and has a lightning pattern and very tightly carved linear tassels to the sash! Note the gradation of the feathers as the jar is turned. It is even better looking straight down at the top of the jar and noting the intricacy of the design! Around the shoulder is a single band which is carved and slipped with mica. The base of the jar is also fully polished. The jar received an honorable mention at the 2016 Santa Fe Indian Market. It is signed on the bottom, “Linda Tafoya-Sanchez”.
Jennifer Moquino is known for her clay vessels and also her amazing animal figures! This is an ichthyosaurus, and one of a variety of dinosaurs that she has created in clay over the years. Some of her very early clay pieces were brontosaurus figures! This piece is polished and fired black. There is a heartline and designs along the body. All the various colors are derived from natural clay slips. Jennifer continues to be one of the leading innovative potters working today!
This is a extraordinary piece by Autumn Borts-Medlock and her mother, Linda Cain. Over the years they have created some extraordinary collaborative pieces. This jar has a carved elk skull which is deeply carved, etched and highlighted with a white clay slip on the front of the piece. The antlers of the elk are also carved and polished red. In the center of the skull is a large inset piece of turquoise. As the jar is turned, the antlers extend to the back and there are two crossed arrows with a single inset piece of turquoise. The area surrounding the carved surfaces has a micaceous clay slip. The use of the mica is a perfect contrast to the polished surfaces. The top of the jar is carved with a kiva step pattern. The scale of the jar along with the complexity of the carving make this a exceptional piece of their art. Autumn is a sister of noted potter Tammy Garcia. Both Autumn and Linda have won numerous awards for their pottery, recognizing their creative and contemporary style of carving.
Jennifer Moquino is known for her clay vessels and also her amazing animal figures! This is the first time we have had one of her hornets. It is wonderfully detailed for the body of the piece. The wings are etched with more traditional Santa Clara style designs. All the various colors are derived from natural clay slips. Jennifer continues to be one of the leading innovative potters working today!
This bear is a very traditional piece by Autumn Borts-Medlock. The bear is deeply carved with a heartline on one side and a kiva step pattern on the opposite side. The carving is deep and there is a single inset piece of turquoise on the back. The body of the bear is fully polished tan. There is a micaceous clay slip around the feet and in the background of the carved areas. The heartline is a white clay slip in contrast to the tan polished areas. The bears are symbols of strength and the heartlines represent the center of the animal. The striking shape and polished surface are reflective of the unique style of carving by Autumn, who has won numerous awards for her pottery.
This is a smaller but intricate jar by Les Namingha. The jar has a round body and an elongated neck. The piece is entitled, “by Design”. Les says that the names is a continuation of, “I painted it by design”. The design, however, is very complex on this piece. Around the neck it is painted with a cloud pattern which has a “op-art” appearance as it changes from smaller to larger as it approaches the shoulder. Around the shoulder are a series of linear and geometric pattern which connect together. It is really the base which is the most dynamic with the intersecting lines. The lines and various colors create the distinctive appearance of the squares looking both like a basket and also with the optical illusion of the squares floating between the larger lines. Les Namingha is one of those potters who continues to defy expectations in his innovative clay art. He pulls from his artistic background as well as his Zuni and Hopi heritage. The jar is signed on the bottom.
It is not often that Linda Tafoya-Sanchez creates redware pieces in the more classic San Juan style. This bowl is carved with four medallions, one on each side. The medallions are a rising sun, a butterfly, rain clouds and a corn plant. Each of these is a classic design depicting growth or prosperity. What is fascinating on this bowl is the surrounding complex carved designs. They are inspired by San Juan incised imagery and add to the complexity of the carving. These patterns are also either polished or slipped with mica! The intention here is to have a variety of surface textures and styles to reflect the light and enhance the designs. Linda began using the mica years ago when she was given some by a relative at San Juan. The bowl is signed on the bottom, “Linda Tafoya-Sanchez”.
LuAnn Tafoya is known for the large scale of her pottery. She is a daughter of Margaret Tafoya and a granddaughter of SaraFina Tafoya and learned to make the large vessels from her mother. This unique jar is one that is inspired by the first carved pieces at Santa Clara pueblo, which were created by her grandmother, SaraFina. The last photo here is the one by SaraFina from which this jar was inspired. SaraFina created a series of vessels in 1921-2 which were gouged or carved with various animals designs. The one pictured here had an avanyu or snake design. LuAnn took this as a point of inspiration and created this jar which has a carved avanyu encircling the piece. However, unlike much of work, the entire piece is fully polished, EVEN the carved avanyu. The level of difficultly to polish the entire piece at one time and with various levels of carving is extraordinary. The jar has been traditionally fired black and typical of LuAnn’s polishing, it has a glassy surface. The jar is a remarkable testament to LuAnn’s skill as a pottery and the incredible legacy of her family!
This jar by Alice Cling has a narrow base and has an asymmetrical rim. The idea is that the rim looks like the mountains and mesas in the Southwest. This jar is fully polished red and then fired outdoors. The stunning variation in the color are from the smoke and fire. The colors on this piece are extraordinary as there are areas which range from red to deep black! The piece was covered in pine-pitch after the firing, a continuation of the traditional Navajo pottery when pitch was used to make the pottery water proof. Alice has won numerous awards for her pottery and been featured in books such as “Legacy of Generations.”
This is one of the larger pieces we have had by Linda Cain. She is the mother of noted potters Tammy Garcia and Autumn Borts-Medlock. The jar is very deeply carved with two mountain lions as the design. They are both inside the cave and the tan micaceous rectangular “door” is the opening to the mouth of the cave. The neck of the jar is also micaceous and the rim of the jar is polished red. The two mountain lion figures are surrounded by carved geometric patterns. The contrast of the polished red surface and the micaceous slips is visually striking. The wonderful story of this jar is certainly enchanting in both the shape and design. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.
Jennifer Moquino is known for her clay vessels and also her amazing animal figures! This mountain lion is fired brown and has a mountain lion paw print on its back. On one side there are etched deer tracks and eagle feathers, while on the other there is a bird. However, it is the face on this piece which is exceptional! The contrast of the polished and matte surfaces and the realism of her designs gives this a very striking appearance. All the various colors are derived from natural clay slips. Jennifer continues to be one of the leading innovative potters working today!
Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs. This is one of the very few miniatures bowls which Joseph made during his career. Seedpots with a small opening typically provided more of a canvas for his designs. This piece from 1982 is very highly polished red and there are etched designs around the rim. The body of the piece has Mimbres inspired mosquito, cricket, worm, bee and other insects encircling the piece. Each one is different. They are each highlighted with a white clay slip. Near the base the bowl is also fully polished with a small etched star. The piece is signed on the bottom in the clay with his name and hallmark. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.
Daryl Whitegeese is known for his use of classic Santa Clara forms and his amazing polished surfaces. This jar is one of the few melon jars he has ever made! The jar is carved with 16 evenly spaced melon ribs. One of the difficulties with melon ribbed vases is to get the ribs both evenly spaced horizontally, as well as to have them gradated in size from the neck to the base. It is this symmetry that adds to the overall appearance and beauty of the vessel. This jar is fully polished red and it fired to a striking coloration. Note as well the rim of the jar, which is very sharp and one of the characteristics of Daryl’s pottery. The jar is also polished inside the neck, which adds another level of complexity to the piece. The stone polished surface, the traditional firing and the unassuming complexity of the form make this an exceptional piece by this award winning potter!
Linda Tafoya-Sanchez is known for her deep carved pottery and use of traditional designs. This bowl is an exceptionally complex piece of her pottery. There are five interlocking medallions, each with a separate design. The idea for the interlocking medallions came from a relative of hers competing in a hoop-dance competition. Here, each of the circles has a different design. They include rain clouds, mountains and forest, Kiva steps and plants, a bear paw and wind over the pueblos. For a piece this size, there is amazing amount of carving! The bowl is fully stone polished to a high shine and traditionally fired. It is signed on the bottom, “Linda Tafoya-Sanchez”.
Sandra Victorino is a niece of noted potter Dorothy Torivio. Sandra has her own unique style of “op-art”, where the patterns start small, then get larger and then smaller again on the vessel. These pieces reflect the variety and intricacy of her pottery designs. This jar has the white clay painted with the black bee-weed, creating a very modern appearance. It is very thin walled and the design is a plant, butterfly wing and fineline (rain) pattern. The intricacy of the designs and the use of the op-art imagery adds to the sophistication of the jar! Sandra creates a beautiful sense of balance between the form and design.
Pasqualita Tafoya was the sister of noted potter SaraFina Tafoya and the matriarch of a family of renowned potters. Her early pottery are primarily carved vessels with some unusual styles of carved patterns. This is a larger bowl of her pottery with a carved avanyu encircling the piece. The avanyu (water serpent) is deeply carved into the clay and the surface is fully polished. The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Pascualita”. Interestingly, there are numerous variations on the spelling of her name depending on the time period when they were made. The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. It is nice to see a larger piece of her pottery with such a classic design.
This bowl by Effie Garcia is her classic shape with a narrow base and wide shoulder. The bowl is deeply carved with a bird wing pattern. Note the depth of the carving and how she has outlined the design with the clay for emphasis. The surface is stone polished and the piece is traditionally fired.
Nathan Begaye was a unique innovator among Pueblo and Navajo potters. His ethnic connection to both Hopi and Navajo let his work flow between the two distinctive styles and yet find their own unique space. His work used traditional designs, forms and techniques, yet somehow appeared very modern. This is a very unusual and traditional style bowl. The shape is a “kiva” bowl with the kiva steps on the side. On the outside they are painted with dragonflies and on the inside with clouds. The center of the bowl has a traditional frog as the pattern with a cloud design on its head. The bowl is slipped with a white clay and the painted with natural clay slips and traditionally fired. It is signed on the bottom with his wave/cloud hallmark. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.
Elizabeth Naranjo was known for her large carved intricately carved vessels. This large jar is a striking shape with a very round body and an elongated neck. The neck has a feather pattern while the body of the piece is carved with an avanyu. Separating the two designs is a rounded cloud pattern. Elizabeth is a daugther of noted potter Pablita Chavarria and the sister of Clara Shije, Reycita Naranjo and Mary Singer. This large jar is beautifully polished and typical of her work. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. It is signed on the bottom in the clay.
Les Namingha is one of those potters who continues to defy expectations in his innovative clay art. He pulls from his artistic background as well as his Zuni and Hopi heritage. This jar is inspired by the classic Zuni pottery shapes and designs. The olla shape with the high shoulder and sloping mouth has the perfect Zuni form. What is hard to see from the photos is the edge at the top of the shoulder that dips down before the rise to the neck and the very tiny turned out neck! Amazing! The designs are birds and rainbirds (which are the fineline style swirls) extend around the jar in the panels. Note as well the small feather patterns which are also found around the surface of the entire piece! There are two vertical bands which have fineline geometric and rain patterns. What works so well on this piece is the checkerboard pattern on the base and the rim. That little turn out of the rim is hard to see but connects the jar to the past but still contemporary. Overall, a wonderful combination of Zuni designs made modern! It is always exciting to see how Les continues to revive Zuni pottery with his forms and designs!
This is a stunning large bowl by Betty Tafoya. She was taught to make pottery by her husband, Lee Tafoya, a son of Margaret Tafoya. While they often collaborated on pottery throughout his career this bowl is signed by Betty alone. It has a deeply carved avanyu as the design. The shape is a classic bowl form and it is beautifully polished. Betty was well known for the polishing on her pottery and taught that art to her daughter, Linda Tafoya.. The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.
This is a classic style water jar by Russell Sanchez. The shape has the side shoulder and the turned out rim. The neck of the jar has melon rib swirls which extend upward. They are pushed into the clay and create a beautiful flow of the vessel. The bottom of the jar is also fully polished. Around the shoulder are three bands of shell and turquoise hei-shi beads. There is a simplicity to the jar but also a beauty to the stone polished surface. The melon rib neck is so highly polished it almost creates an optical illusion of the jar spinning! Russell continues to revive historic San Ildefonso designs with his innovative style of pottery. The bottom of the jar has the classic indention of traditional San Ildefonso water jars. It’s exciting how Russell uses these historic elements to keep them alive on his contemporary pottery. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, ‘Russell”.
Travis (b. 1951) and Rosemary Lewis (b. 1952) are traditional Santa Clara potters. Rosemary is a daughter of Olaria Sisneros. Travis was inspired by Mary Cain. This wedding vase is fully carved with two flute players and corn on one side. The opposite side has traditional Santa Clara patterns. It is signed on the bottom.
It is not often that we come across the pottery of Maximiliana “Anna” Martinez, who was a sister of Maria Martinez. This bowl has a low shoulder and a cloud, rain and bird wing pattern. The design is painted above the shoulder of the piece. The bowl is in very good condition with no chips, restoration or repair. There are some light surface scratches. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Anna”.
This is an unusual shape by Samuel Manymules. It is coil built and slipped with a red clay and then traditionally fired. The jar has triangular ribs extending down from the neck and reverse triangular ribs extending up from the base. The style of his coil work is always distinctive with the sharp edge to the neck and at the base before he does the melon rib variations. The ribs on Samuel’s pottery are pushed out from the inside to give them the traditional melon rib style. The fire clouds encircle the piece had create various colors from red to dark black. After the firing the jar is the covered with pine pitch in the traditional way expected of Navajo pottery. It is extraordinary vessels like this which keep Samuel among the top Navajo potters working today.
This is a classic shape by Samuel Manymules. It is coil built and slipped with a red clay and then traditionally fired. The jar has a swirl rounded melon rib which extends from the neck to the base. The ribs on Samuel’s pottery are pushed out from the inside to give them the traditional melon rib style. The fire clouds encircle the piece had create various colors from red to dark black. After the firing the jar is the covered with pine pitch in the traditional way expected of Navajo pottery. It is extraordinary vessels like this which keep Samuel among the top Navajo potters working today.
It is a complex lidded bowl by Linda Tafoya-Sanchez. The bowl is carved with designs in panels. There is a bear paw, cloud, plant and rain designs. The lid is also carved with a bear paw on the very top of the handle! There are additional cloud designs on the flat par to of the lid. The entire piece is fully polished. Note the complexity of the designs on the bowl and how they vary as the piece is turned. It is fully polished and has a glassy appearance. Linda is a granddaughter of Margaret Tafoya and the quality and creativity in her carving are readily apparent on this vessel! It is signed on the base.
LuAnn Tafoya is a daughter of Margaret Tafoya and learned to make the large vessels from her mother. This jar is one of her classic shaped smaller pieces with a round body and a slightly turned out neck. The jar has cloud pattern which are carved in a complex manner as the jar is turned. Note how they flow from round to angular to tight geometric designs. The bowl is highly polished to a glassy finish. The jar is traditionally fired black, adding to the risk not only in the size but in the outdoor firing! The pottery of LuAnn Tafoya is an important continuation of the traditions of her family and the pueblo. Today, few potters create pieces this size and the skill and beauty in LuAnn’s pottery is always remarkable!
Janice Ortiz is a sister of noted potter Virgil Ortiz. She has created a series of traditional style figures which are based on the four directions (North, South, East and West). Each of the directions is meant to be a specific color. This figure represents “West” and, while the traditional color is blue, the only clay options are the black wild spinach. The figure is coil built and has its arms outstretched. There is an intricately painted tablita on its head. There are additional classic Cochiti designs painted on the body. Each piece is coil built and painted with native clay slips and wild spinach plant for the black. They are each traditionally fired. The piece is signed on the bottom.