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Mary Small (b. 1940) is known for her creative traditional Jemez Pueblo pottery. Her name is Towa is “Kal-la-Tee”, meaning “New Indian Basket”. She learned to make pottery from her mother, Perfectita Toya. She was married to Frank Tenorio (San Felipe) and then then was later married to Ivan Small (Jemez).
She uses a unique gray slip as part of her painted designs. It has become a distinctive visual cue to her exceptional pottery. Each piece is made using native clay, coil-built and hand painted. Mary Small has been quoted as saying: “When my pottery is finished, they are blessed. They have power.”
Mary began participating in various art shows around 1973. She earned many ribbons during her career, including a First Prize at Santa Fe Indian Market in 1981 and a First Prize at the Powhatan Renape Nation Indian Arts Festival in 1999. Other ribbons came from the Heard Museum Guild Indian Arts Fair & Market, the Gallup InterTribal Ceremonial and the New Mexico State Fair. Mary was also chosen as the Indian Arts and Crafts Association Artist of the Year in 2002.