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Shirley Tafoya

Shirley Tafoya began making pottery full-time in 1971-2. She decided to concentrate on making miniature versions of the large vessels her mother, Margaret Tafoya, was known to produce. Shirley would work to make them as small, thin-walled and elegant in form as possible. The picture of Shirley is from one of our Gallery Shows with Shirley and LuAnn in 2001. You can read more about Shirley in the book, "Born of Fire."

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Tafoya, Shirley – Bowl with Carved Avanyu (1980)

Shirley Tafoya was the youngest daughter of Margaret Tafoya and known for her miniature pottery.  This bowl is from 1980.  It is very deeply carved with a water serpent encircling the piece.  The entire surface is fully polished.  Shirley etched the eye and the mouth of the avanyu.  The water serpent is a classic Santa Clara design telling the story of how the avanyu saved the village from a flood.  The bowl is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Shirley Cactus Blossom Tafoya”. A classic of Tafoya Family pottery!

$ 1,000.00
Tafoya, Margaret & Shirley Tafoya – Bowl with Kiva Step Design (BOF . 113)

Shirley Tafoya was the youngest daughter of Margaret Tafoya. They each created distinctive styles of carved pottery.  This is one of the only pieces Margaret made with her daughter, Shirley.  Shirley told me when I was writing “Born of Fire” that Margaret had made the bowl and she asked Shirley to carve a kiva step design into the clay.  Shirley then polished the bowl.  The bowl is highly polished and traditionally fired.  The kiva steps were a significant choice:

“The kiva step pattern is a classic design see on much of Margaret Tafoya’s pottery. That particular design has three steps, representing the kiva where religious ceremonies take place on the Pueblo. From the kitchen window of Margaret’s house, their clan kiva could also be seen while they worked.  Again, the tradition of form and design, of passing on knowledge to the next generation, were all a daily presence in Margaret’s pottery and life”.  Born of Fire, p. 100

This bowl is from the 1980’s and it is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Shirley Cactus Blossom Tafoya, Margaret Tafoya”.  It is an amazing piece of history, culture and Pueblo tradition!  The last photos are one from the book, Born of Fire along with a photo of Margaret and Shirley Tafoya.

$ 3,400.00
Tafoya, Shirley – Wide Bowl with Carved Avanyu

Shirley Tafoya was the youngest daughter of Margaret Tafoya and known for her miniature pottery.  This is a larger bowl but amazing at how deeply it is carved!  The top and bottom band are a matte, while the carved area is an avanyu which is polished.  Note how deep the carving is on this bowl!  Shirley etched the eye and the mouth of the avanyu.  The water serpent is a classic Santa Clara design telling the story of how the avanyu saved the village from a flood.  The bowl is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Shirley Cactus Blossom Tafoya.” A classic of Tafoya Family pottery!

$ 1,200.00
Tafoya, Shirley – Large Plainware Water Jar (1970’s)

Shirley Tafoya was the youngest daughter of Margaret Tafoya and known for her miniature pottery.  I couldn’t help but say that this was a “large” water jar, but for Shirley, it definitely was a large piece as much of her work was under 2″ tall!  This water jar is an elegant shape with a round body and a slight neck.  The entire piece is fully polished and fired a deep black.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Shirley Cactus Blossom Tafoya”.  Simple but a classic of Tafoya Family pottery!

$ 1,500.00
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