Montoya, Tomasita – Oval Carved Polychrome Bowl with Rain and Clouds (1960’s)
This is an oval carved bowl by Tomasita Montoya. She was one of the early revivalists in San Juan pottery. The bowl is polished red on the rim and base. The center section is deeply carved with cloud patterns and incised with rain designs. The deeper carved designs became more prominent in Ohkay Owingeh pottery in the late 1940s and ’50s. The bowl 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 renowned 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.