Montoya, Tomasita – Wide Potsuwi’i Incised Mountain and Rain Design Bowl (1960s)
Tomasita Montoya was one of the early revivalists in San Juan pottery. She 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.
This bowl is Tomasita’s classic incised pieces. The rim and base are fully polished red. The jar has a sharp shoulder where the red starts on the top. The body of the bowl is incised in large triangular designs which are the mountains and clouds while the rain is the linear vertical lines. The incised lines are very tightly designed and they are slipped with mica. This bowl is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Tomasita Montoya”.