Margaret Tafoya is a daughter of noted potter Sara Fina Tafoya and a sister of Christina Naranjo and Camilio Tafoya. She is the matriarch of a family of renowned potters, each of whom created their distinctive styles. Margaret Tafoya had twelve children, eight of whom became potters. They include Virginia Ebelacker, Lee Tafoya, Toni Roller, LuAnn Tafoya, Mela Youngblood, Jennie Trammel, Mary Ester Archuleta, and Shirley Tafoya. Her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren carry on the pottery-making tradition today.
Margaret Tafoya was a guardian of traditional pottery-making methods and techniques. She created large vessels with stone polished surfaces. Her carving was done before the piece was polished. She produced her work from the 1920s through the 1980s. Margaret Tafoya won numerous awards throughout her career, including Best of Show at Santa Fe Indian Market in 1979 and 1980. She was also awarded the Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1984.
The book, “Born of Fire,” follows her life and art over many decades. It is also the only book to identify her pottery by the decade produced using the variations in her signature. This book is the first complete biography of Margaret Tafoya’s life. It is divided into decades, giving the reader a deeper understanding of her life and pottery over nearly 100 years. There are new biographies on Virginia Ebelacker, Richard Ebelacker, Lee Tafoya, Linda Tafoya, Jennie Trammel, Mela Youngblood, Nathan Youngblood, Nancy Youngblood, Toni Roller, Jeff Roller, LuAnn Tafoya, Daryl Whitegeese, Mary Ester Archuleta, and Shirley Tafoya. The photography of the pottery in this book is exceptional. Throughout the book, personal narratives by family members and family photographs create a wonderful sense of her humanity and artistic accomplishments.