Melchor, Santana – Small Bowl with Rain Designs (1970s)
Santana Melchor was one of the great potters from Santo Domingo throughout the 1900’s. This is a classic bowl from the early 1970s. The surface of the bowl is polished and then painted with mineral slips. The piece has a series of interlocking rain designs. The style of design is certainly reminiscent of earlier Santo Domingo pottery of the late 1800s. The rim has the classic Santo Domingo “spirit line” where there is a space in the painting. The interior is slipped with red clay. What you can’t feel is the surface, which is burnished, has a smoother than expected feel, and the black a deeper appearance. It is signed on the bottom, “Santana Melchor”. The bowl is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. One of the few smaller pieces of her work we have seen. Did you know she was present in the 1974 delegation of Pueblo potters who visited the White House as a guest of first lady Pat Nixon (see last photo).