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Mark Tahbo

Mark Tahbo, Hopi, 2016

Mark Tahbo

Mark Tahbo was a Hopi-Tewa member of the Tobacco Clan.  He had been an active potter since 1978. He learned to make pottery from his great-grandmother, GraceChapalla.  His sisters Diana and Pam were also potters.  Mark was influential in the early 1990’s in recognition of traditional firing of Hopi pottery and keeping it as a practice among Hopi-Tewa pottery. Mark had won numerous awards for his pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Indian Market, and Gallup Ceremonials.  In 1991, he won Overall Prize at Santa Fe Indian Market.  In 1992 he was awarded Best of Division at the Heard Museum Indian Fair. Awards continued to be presented to him in 1993 and 1994 and later. His pottery is featured in books such as "Talking with the Clay" and "Collecting Authentic Indian Art." He is remembered as one of the exceptional traditional innovators of Hopi pottery!  His pieces reflect the wonderful symmetry and thin walls of an excellent potter. The designs are painted using native clay slips and bee-weed (a plant) for the black. Sadly, Mark passed away in December 2017.  We were lucky to work with him at King Galleries for over 20 years.  His creativity and artistic genius will be missed.

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Tahbo, Mark  – Plainware Wide Mouth Water Jar

Mark Tahbo was known not just for his painted pottery, but especially for the blushes on his pottery.  This jar is fully polished and note how Mark polished it at an angle or swirl below the shoulder! It is just visible in the coloration. The jar is traditionally fired and there are color variations from white to dark orange.  Mark said about this piece,

“My first plainware pieces were done years ago. I was sure that these would be well received and gallery owner Charles king took a chance with them. They were an immediate hit!  I don’t do very much plainware for it has to be flawless.  The surface has to be free of all dips or air holes and the shape has to be elegant on its own, as there is no design to distract the eye.  The colors achieved on the pots are truly amazing.  Each piece is fired outdoors using sheep dung and coals.  This piece turned out a “pumpkin” color.  I love it!”

It is signed on the bottom with a pipe for his “Tobacco Clan”.

$ 700.00
Tahbo, Mark  – Hopi Birds Lidded Bowl (2003)

Mark Tahbo learned to make pottery from his great grandmother, Grace Chapella.  His pieces reflect the wonderful symmetry and thin walls of an excellent potter. The designs are painted using native clay slips and bee-weed (a plant) for the black. This is a classic bowl from 2003. On this piece Mark included a variety of styles of Hopi birds.  Each was painted with different clay slips and he wanted to create a sense of motion.  They fly around the bowl and in, under and around the lid.  This is one of the few pieces where Mark made a lid for his pottery.  Note the use of all the various clay colors from mauve to red to burgundy.  It is an exciting and complicated vessel bringing together a all these Hopi birds in a contemporary manner!  Mark has made it an important part of his career to create the blushes in the firing process.  The depth of the coloration gives his vessels such life!  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 1,800.00
Tahbo, Mark  – “Double Snake” Tile

This is one of the few large tiles by Mark Tahbo.  The designs on this piece are painted with bee-weed (a plant) and there is an additional red clay slip used.  The coloration is from the traditional firing.  Mark says of this piece,

“This tile is very large in size making it very difficult to have it turn out in such perfect condition.  But I did it!!  The design is inspired by Nampeyo of Hano.  She used it inside a bowl. I took the design and altered it to give it my own personal flare.  This piece shows two snakes in revers and connected together.  One has a diamond back and the other is a Hopi style serepnt.  Personally, I see the design as two feathered snakes, which are part of Hopi ceremonies.  The two “insect like” figures are the shrines for prayers.  There is a rare color used in this tile.  There are slight hints of blue!  It is a clay which is similar to the white kaolin clay and it adds another bit of beauty to this piece.”

It is exciting to see how Mark reinterprets such a culturally and historically infused design.  The entire surface of the tile is fully polished before it is painted. The back of the tile is signed with a pipe for his “Tobacco Clan”.

$ 800.00
Tahbo, Mark  – “Feathers and Bat Wings” Jar

This jar by Mark Tahbo has a classic shape with the high shoulder and the slight neck.  The jar is coil built, stone polished and then painted with bee-weed (a plant) and there is an additional red clay slip used.  The coloration is from the traditional firing.  Mark says of this piece,

“This jar is design with a pattern I personally call the “feather tails”. The tail feathers come down the center of the design.  There are symbols of storms or rain in each of the center sections of the feathers.  Each of these areas are different with one section filled in, one left open and so on.  The one that is left open represents the clearing after the storm or rains.  I attached bat wings to the sides of the extended tail feathers.  These are to represent the Nampeyo style migration pattern.  Each of the bat wing pairs are different.  I like that when they are different on each side the jar itself looks unique as it is turned.  The color of this jar from the firing is simply awesome for Hopi!”

It is exciting to see how Mark reinterprets such a culturally and historically infused design.  The deep color of this jar is striking and shows off the complex painted designs!  The entire surface of the jar is fully polished before it is painted. The jar is signed with a pipe for his “Tobacco Clan”.

$ 800.00
Tahbo, Mark  – Plainware Jar

Mark Tahbo is known not just for his painted pottery, but especially for the blushes on his pottery.  This jar is fully polished and note how Mark polished it at an angle or swirl! It is just visible in the coloration. The jar is traditionally fired and there are color variations from white to dark orange.  Mark said about this piece,

“My first plainware pieces were done years ago. I was sure that these would be well received and gallery owner Charles king took a chance with them. They were an immediate hit!  I don’t do very much plainware for it has to be flawless.  The surface has to be free of all dips or air holes and the shape has to be elegant on its own, as there is no design to distract the eye.  The colors achieved on the pots are truly amazing.  Each piece is fired outdoors using sheep dung and coals.  This piece turned out a “pumpkin” color.  I love it!”

It is signed on the bottom with a pipe for his “Tobacco Clan”.

$ 700.00
Tahbo, Mark  – “They Fly By Night” (2017)

This is a striking seedpot by Mark Tahbo.  He has titled this piece, “They Fly by Night”. The bowl has a bat painted on the top of the piece. The bat is painted with bee-weed (a plant) and there is an additional red clay slip used.  The bowl is traditionally fired.  Mark says of this piece,

“This bat design is usually not very common on Hopi-Tewa pottery, as it’s a nocturnal animal.  The Hopi in their beliefs fear such creature as owls and snakes.  For this piece, I was inspired by the ancient Mimbres pottery.  The bat is painted just center-right of the opening.  I added some additional clay color to the bat with the red clay slip.  The wings span slightly over the edge of the bowl.  This piece also depicts a star and the moon in two phases, one is a full moon and the other a half-moon.”

The various colorations to the clay are from the firing.  The bowl is signed on the bottom with a pipe for his “Tobacco Clan”.

$ 800.00
Sale!
King, Charles S., “Spoken Through Clay”

Spoken Through Clay

A NEW  RELEASE SPECIAL:  $95.00, including shipping (US)! Check out the new review in the Denver Post!

 Just a few things which make this book unique!
*   The size!  The book is 11.75″ x 14.25″ and weights over 8 pounds!
*  The photography of the pottery is stunning, emphasizing the individual pieces.
*  Each caption is the artist discussing the individual piece on the page.
*  The artist “biographies” are from interviews with the artists and they discuss their art, culture, lives and history.
*  Organization: The book is not organized by pueblo or family, but entails new ways to think about the future of Native pottery.
*  Printing in Italy gives the book very high quality color and paper.
* The photos of the living artists were taken by Will Wilson using a tin-type process. He was a recipient of the 2107 New Mexico Governor’s Award for the Arts in photography!
*  The book features work by more than 30 contemporary potters and more than a dozen important historic potters.
*  There are essays by myself, Peter Held and Eric Dobkin.  They add to the overall understanding of the project a historic perspective.

_____________________________________________

August 18, Pasatiempo Review

“Charles S. King’s new book, Spoken Through Clay: Native Pottery in the Southwest, The Eric S. Dobkin Collection, is spectacularly heavy —which is a problem from a practical standpoint, because once you open it, you won’t want to put it down. With dreamy tintype artist portraits by Diné photographer Will Wilson, dazzlingly crisp images from Addison Doty, and intimate first-person essays written by dozens of artists, the book is a visually delicious, intellectually consuming foray into historic and contemporary Southwestern pottery. In short, prepare to swoon.

If you’re thinking of this as a coffee-table book, you’ll need to imagine a decently sized coffee table. The book is more than a foot tall and, when opened, two feet wide, but its outsize appearance belies the often delicate beauty of its contents: hundreds of individual pieces of pottery from Eric S. Dobkin’s exquisitely curated collection — arguably the largest and most important of its kind. Gallery owner, author, and Pueblo pottery expert King designed Spoken Through Clay to be approachable for those unfamiliar with Native American pottery. “In the age of social media, I wanted to make the book both visually striking and personal,” King said. The book opens with essays by King, Dobkin, and curator Peter Held, who calls clay “the most archival of materials … seductive, sensuous, responsive, geologic, and malleable.”

“I wanted the end result of the book to be that the reader would connect with the artists in a personal way, beyond just the art, and understand the time it takes to become an artist, to achieve success,” King said. Sprawling yet intimate, Spoken Through Clay introduces its readers not just to the beauty of Southwestern pottery but also to the fascinating stories of the people who make it.Iris McLister, Pasatiempo

____________________________________

“It’s one of the things that makes us who we are. It’s what holds our family together. We are a family of potters. It’s our identity. People don’t realize how much work goes into it just processing the clay and making it. You have to do it with your heart.”—Linda Tafoya-Sanchez

 

FEATURED ARTISTS Grace Medicine Flower • Dextra Quotskuyva • Autumn Borts-Medlock • Jody Naranjo • Harrison Begay Jr. • Jordan Roller • Sara Fina Tafoya • Lonnie Vigil • Margaret Tafoya • Steve Lucas • LuAnn Tafoya • Loren Ami • Toni Roller • Popovi Da • Linda Tafoya-Sanchez • Mark Tahbo • James Ebelacker• Yvonne Lucas • Jeff Roller • Lisa Holt • Harlan Reano • Nampeyo • Jacquie Stevens • Nathan Youngblood • Jacob Koopee Jr. • Jennifer Moquino • Christopher Youngblood • Maria Martinez • Tony Da • Tammy Garcia • Virgil Ortiz • Joseph Lonewolf • Johnathan Naranjo • Nancy Youngblood • Les Namingha • Russell Sanchez • Christine McHorse • Richard Zane Smith • Rondina Huma • Susan Folwell • Dominique Toya • Jody Folwell

Spoken Through Clay features the pottery of iconic Native American artists from historic potters Nampeyo and Maria Martinez, to contemporary potters Tammy Garcia, Virgil Ortiz, and many others, are featured in a new book published by the Museum of New Mexico Press. Spoken Through Clay: Native Pottery of the Southwest showcases nearly three hundred pottery vessels from the acclaimed Eric S. Dobkin Collection, covering a wide range of mostly Pueblo artists from the Southwest.

“The physical scale of the vessels combined with the depth of the contemporary collection [is] breathtaking,” says author Charles S. King. The book is part of a “transitional process of looking to the clay, the vessel, and the potter’s voice and allowing the pieces to stand on the merit of their artistic integrity.”

The book includes portraits and voices of renowned potters speaking about their artistry and technique, families, culture, and traditions. Many of the artists are connected by Pueblos, generations, or family members. Dynamic color photography captures the depth and dimension of the pieces, while the artists provide an illuminating perspective through narrative captions. Artists, academics, collectors, family members, and gallerists add additional insight about the lives, historical context, and importance of these potters and their work.

SPOKEN THROUGH CLAY Native Pottery of the Southwest The Eric S. Dobkin Collection
By Charles S. King Essay by Peter Held

Artist portraits by Will Wilson
ISBN: 978-0-89013-624-9

352 pages, 320 color plates, 40 artist portraits

Publication Date: August 01, 2017
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Charles S. King is the author of Born of Fire: The Life and Pottery of Margaret Tafoya, The Life and Art of Tony Da, Virgil Ortiz: Revolt 1680/2180, and numerous articles on Pueblo pottery. He has served on boards of art associations, judged pottery at prestigious events, and lectures about the art form. His business King Galleries represents many of today’s leading Native potters and important historic works in clay. Charles lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

$ 125.00 $ 95.00
Tahbo, Mark  – Jar with Bird Tails & Red Rim (2017)

This is a classic style Hopi-Tewa jar by Mark Tahbo.  The jar has a wide, round body and a slight neck.  The neck and the base are both fully polished a deep red. The sides of the jar have the traditional eagle tail pattern which was seen on the historic Sikyatki pottery.  The bird tails are painted with two different colors of red clay slip.  Mark has left open areas on the jar to reveal more the coloration of the clay from the firing.  Note the intricately painted patterns and how Mark flows them across the shoulder and reinforces the shape of the piece!  The red on the jar is a the classic red clay slip, which is  a beautiful contrast to the blushes of the clay.  The black is bee-weed (a plant).  The jar is traditionally fired to create the various colorations from the heat of the fire. It is signed on the bottom with a pipe for his “Tobacco Clan”.

$ 800.00
Tahbo, Mark  – “Coming of Spring” Jar (2017)

This is a striking jar by Mark Tahbo.  He has titled this piece, “The Coming of Spring”. The jar has two sections with birds painted onto the surface of the piece.  Each of the birds is different and each is painted with different colors of clay for the heads, bodies and tails.  Separating each of the birds is a large round, bird tail pattern. There is a white prayer feather at the top of the circles.  The red, mauve and white are all natural clay slips.  The black is bee-weed (a plant).  The jar is traditionally fired to create the various colorations from the heat of the fire. It is signed on the bottom with a pipe for his “Tobacco Clan”.

$ 800.00
Tahbo, Mark  – Large Jar with Birds (2002)

This is a large and fully painted jar by Mark Tahbo.  The jar is the traditional clay but was high fired to a deep, almost orange coloration.  The birds around the neck were inspired by the diverse style of birds painted on the pottery of Nampeyo. What makes these birds unique is that they are painted with the mauve colored slip that he was using at the time!  It was a rare clay that several of the potters used and it fired out this amazing mauve coloration.  Below the shoulder the jar is painted with bird tail designs.  Note how black the bee-weed fired out on this jar!  Stunning!  The jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. It is signed on the bottom with his name an a pipe for his “Tobacco Clan”.

$ 2,200.00
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