Montoya, Tomasita – Carved Jar with Mountain and Rain Designs (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 1930s. 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 carved with carved mountain, rain and cloud patterns. The center section is matte while the rim and base are polished red. The carved areas were slipped with additional clays for the coloration before it was fired. The more deeply carved style was the final stylistic change at San Juan. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Tomasita Montoya”. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.