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San Juan Pottery

San Juan Pottery, or Ohkay Owingeh

San Juan Pottery, or Ohkay Owingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo). English Pronunciation: "O-keh 0-weeng-eh" Traditional Name: Ohkay Owingeh The Ohkay Owingeh people have a complex and fascinating cultural history. They divide the physical world into three parts: the village and surrounding land, which is the realm of the women, the second circle is comprised of the hills and mesa surrounding the first circle and is the realm of both men and women: the third circle emcompasses all beyond the second and is the world of hunting and protection form a hostile outside world, and this is the exclusive realm of the men. All ceremonies and dances are centered on this division of influences and relate to various aspects of daily and seasonal life. Great importance is placed upon the teaching of responsibility. Although many Ohkay Owingeh people work outside the Pueblos, most of them return for ritual occasions and ceremonies. Their language is Tewa.

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Curran, Ursula – Jar with Buff-on-Red Rain Designs

Ursula Curran is a daughter of noted potter Dolores Curran and Alvin Curran.  She is named after her grandmother Ursulita Naranjo.  Ursula is known for her painted pottery.  This jar is fully polished and intricately painted with a buff clay.  Amazingly, she would paint each piece up to five times to get the color of the matte painted areas deep and consistent enough!  This jar has a cloud pattern around the neck.  The body has a band of rain, cloud and plant designs and a single band of red. There is another band of cloud and kiva step designs near the base. The thin lines and are exceptional on this jar! It is signed on the bottom in the caly.


$ 250.00
Unsigned – Ohkay Owinghe Red & Tan Jar (1910’s)

This is an unsigned Ohkay Owinge (San Juan) jar is from the 1920’s.  It has a round body and a slightly turned out neck.  In the late 1800’s, San Juan was known for it’s distinctive red and tan pottery.  The top half was polished with a red clay slip, while the lower half was “wet polished” or just polished with water.  That left the bottom half of the jar the natural color of the clay. The pieces were then traditionally fired out doors, which resulted in the fireclouds.  This jar has dark black areas from the firing, in complement to the red and tan of the polished surface.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There is some wear and a slight lean to the bowl, but nothing unexpected for its age.

$ 600.00
Montoya, Tomasita – Incised Red & Tan Water Jar (1940’s)

Tomasita Montoya is one of the early revivalists in San Juan pottery.  She was one of the original 7 San Juan potters who revived the art form in the 1930’s.  The Pueblo was renown for their pottery but by about 1890 there were no potters left. In 1930 Regina Cata organized a pottery study group at San Juan Pueblo with the intent of revitalizing pottery production. The group studied ancient potsherds of wares made at San Juan in earlier times and selected Potsuwi‘i Incised Ware (1450-1500) as a basis for a contemporary pottery type.  This jar is one of those early incised jars.  It is polished red on the top and bottom.  In the center, it is very precisely incised with a linear rain and lightning design. The design is highlighted with a micaceous clay slip and left tan. Note in the last photo, there is an earlier San Juan red and tan jar.  It is nice to compare the contrasting coloration from the early 1900’s with the work from the 1940’s. This jar is in good condition with some minor scratches which are not uncommon for the age.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Tomasita Montoya”.

$ 700.00
Tapia, Tom & Sue – Bowl with Sun and Kiva Opening

This bowl was made and polished by Sue Tapia and etched with designs by Tom Tapia.  It is a very intricate piece of his work as it is fully designed.  The shape of the bowl has a kiva step design on one side.  Around the shoulder is a water serpent and as the bowl is turned there is a Pueblo drummer and Deer Dancer.  The next scene is a Pueblo and bear fetish.  Below the kiva step carved rim is a sun design.  The reddish coloration is added after the firing.  The bowl is signed, “Tom & Sue Tapia”.   It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 600.00
Tafoya, Linda & Jeremey Oyenque – Kiva Bowl with Deer Tracks

Jeremy Oyenque (b. 1984) is a son of noted potter Linda Tafoya-Sanchez and a great-grandson of Margaret Tafoya.  This is a collaborative piece by both Linda and Jeremey. Jeremey made and carved the bowl and Linda did the polishing. The bowl is a classic kiva bowl with the raised step rim.  The interior and exterior are fully polished. The deer tracks are carved around the inside of the bowl.  It is a very traditional shape for Santa Clara pueblo.   The bowl is signed with both names in the clay on the bottom.

$ 450.00
Tapia, Tom & Sue –  Seedpot with Sunface and Drummer

This seedpot was made and polished by Sue Tapia and etched with designs by Tom Tapia.  It is a very intricate piece of his work as it is fully designed. On one side is a sun medallion with feather patterns and a Longhair Katsina.  There is a water serpent extending up from the base and also a katsina figure with corn pollen.  There are Mimbres inspired insects and turtles on the side and note that is also where the hole is for the seedpot! The side opposite the sunface has a Tewa drummer and a rising sun.  There is also an additional bear paw, butterfly and arrow pattern on the side. The piece is signed, “Tom & Sue Tapia”.   It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 600.00
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