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Blue Corn Pottery

Blue Corn was born "Crucita Calabaza" at San Ildefonso Pueblo. She learned to make pottery from her mother. Blue Corn attended school at the Pueblo in her early years. She then went to Santa Fe Indian school, which was 24 miles from home. While attending Indian School in Santa Fe her mother and father died and she was sent to live with relatives in Southern California. Here she worked as a maid for a short time in Beverly Hills. At the age of 20, Blue Corn married Santiago 'Sandy' Calabaza who was a silversmith from Santo Domingo pueblo. Together they settled at San Ildefonso where she bore and raised ten children. During World War II, Blue Corn worked as a housecleaner in Los Alamos for the physicist, J. Robert Oppenheimer.She was renowned for her polychrome Blue Corn pottery but also for her distinctive blackware. In 1981 she won the "Governor's Award", which is New Mexico's highest artistic honor. Blue Corn Pottery was so exacting and innovative in her designs that over a decade after her passing, her pottery continues to be influential and highly sought after. In both a testament to her skill as an potter and a reflection of her creativity, she was posthumously awarded the 2008 "Lifetime Achievement Award" by SWAIA and her work can also be found in "Legacy of Generations".

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Blue Corn –  Jar with Feather Pattern (1980s)

While Blue Corn is one of the innovative San Ildefonso potters of the late 1900s.  She is often best known for her polychrome pottery but began her career making black pottery.  This jar is from the 1980s.  The shape is one for which she was well known, with the low shoulder and sloping sides.  It is very highly polished and painted with a feather pattern.  The design encircles the entire bowl.  It is fired a deep black.  It is signed in the clay, “Blue Corn”.   The bowl is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 600.00
Blue Corn – Polychrome Jar with Carved Avanyu (1970’s)

Blue Corn is often best known for her polychrome pottery and her creative use of various clay slips on her pottery. She learned to make pottery from Maria Martinez at San Ildefonso.  This is one of her few carved pieces which is also polychrome. The jar is carved with a water serpent (avanyu) encircling the piece.  The bowl is polished tan and the avanyu and the carved areas are outlined with a black clay.  The background area is slipped with a taupe colored clay.  The result is a striking appearance where the depth of the carving is enhanced by the coloration.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay “Blue Corn, San Ildefonso”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There are two small bubbles in the taupe area below the neck of the avanyu, which appear in coloration to have occurred at the time of the firing.

$ 875.00
Blue Corn – Polychrome Jar with Feather Pattern

This is striking polychrome jar by Blue Corn.  Blue Corn began by making black-on-black pottery but it is her polychrome potter for which she is the most famous.  This water jar is fully polished tan and then it is painted.  The black is a black clay and the is an additional clay slip.  The jar  has a feather pattern painted along the neck.  Blue Corn used a green clay slip at the tips of the feathers and in the cloud design above.  Interestingly, the body of the jar is all one coloration but as it was traditionally fired outside, the area above the shoulder appears to be a lighter coloration than the base, adding one more visually striking dimension to this piece.  The jar is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. There is one small area of black slip loss and a small air bubble along one feather.  Both can be seen in the same photo.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Blue Corn”.

$ 1,200.00
Blue Corn – Polychrome Plate with Cloud Designs

This small plate is intricately designed by Blue Corn.  Blue Corn began by making black-on-black pottery but it is her polychrome potter for which she is the most famous.  This plate has a cloud and lightning design painted with a green slip and a prayer feather and rain pattern in brown clay.  It is on a white stone polished surface.  While the plate is small, the design is complex.  It is signed on the back in the clay, “Blue Corn”.  The bowl is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 600.00
Blue Corn – Jar with 39 Feathers (1970’s)

Blue Corn is often best known for her polychrome pottery, she also made exquisite black-on-black pottery. She learned to make pottery from Maria Martinez at San Ildefonso. This jar is fully polished and patined with 39 feathers around the shoulder of the piece.  The shape is a classic one for Blue Corn, with the low shoulder and elongated sides.  The contrast of the matte feathers and the highly polished surface works perfectly!  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay “Blue Corn, San Ildefonso”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There are a few light surface scratches seen in the photos.

$ 1,200.00
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