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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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Naranjo, Dominguita Sisneros – Bowl with Incised Mesa Designs

Dominguita Sisneros Naranjo is a daughter of noted Ohkay Owingeh potter Tomasita Montoya and a sister of Rosita de Herrera. This bowl is coil built and the top rim is pushed down in an undulating manner.  The top and bottom are fully polished red.  Interestingly, this is either an early piece of her pottery, or she found some of her mother’s old slip, as the red on this piece is the deep red from the earlier Ohkay Owingeh pottery. The body of the bowl is tan polished and incised with a mesa and cloud motif. The incised area is lightly slipped with a micaceous clay.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Dominguita Sisneros”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 175.00
Montoya, Tomasita – Incised Red & Tan Water Jar (1960’s)

Tomasita Montoya is one of the early revivalists in San Juan pottery.  She was one of the original seven 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 her classic incised water jars.  The neck and base are both fully polished red.  The center section is incised with a square pattern.  There is just a bit of mica used to highlight the incised designs.  This jar is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Tomasita Montoya”.

$ 500.00
Curran, Alvin – Bowl with Incised Mountain Design

Alvin Curran was possibly the most refined and sophisticated San Juan style potter of his generation. He was married to Dolores Curran and his daughter is Ursula Curran, both of whom continue to make pottery.  Alvin took the traditional style of incised San Juan polychrome pottery and refined his carving and painted designs.  This is an early piece of his pottery an made in the very classic style of San Juan incised designs.  The top and bottom are slipped with mica and the central band is polished tan and has triangular mountains and rain designs.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “A.  Curran”.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 150.00
Curran, Alvin – Bowl with Mountain and Snow Designs

Alvin Curran was possibly the most refined and sophisticated San Juan style potter of his generation. He was married to Dolores Curran and his daughter is Ursula Curran, both of whom continue to make pottery.  Alvin took the traditional style of incised San Juan polychrome pottery and refined his carving and painted designs.  Each piece is fully carved and then red and white clay slips are added to create the color.  Amazingly, each year at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market, he would enter his pottery in the “carved” categories and win against much more deeply carved and fully polished traditional Santa Clara pottery.  It was a reflection of the precision of his work. This bowl is one of his smaller pieces.  It is stone polished on the rim and the base.  Around the body of the jar, it is incised and has a mountain pattern and the white slip above represents the snow.  The other designs are wind and clouds.  The designs are precision cut into the clay before firing.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Alvin Curran”.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 350.00
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
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.

$ 400.00
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