Artist Media Series
This is a classic large carved bowl by Tomasita Montoya. She was one of the early revivalists in San Juan pottery. This bowl is both incised and carved. The neck and base are fully polished red. The design has carved rainclouds over a step mesa design in four sections. They are separated by additional rain designs over mountains. It is a very complicated design and is tightly carved. There are incised lines within the designs connecting the more deeply carved imagery. The deeper carved designs became more prominent at Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo in the late 1940s and ’50s. The jar is in very good condition with no cracks, restoration, or repair. It is signed, “Tomasita Montoya” on the bottom.
Tomasita was one of the original Eight 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.