Pena, Isabel – Bowl with Carved River Design (1930’s)
Isabel Pena was one of the early San Ildefonso potters. This bowl is one of her few carved pieces and it is from the 1930s. The bowl has an angled top, which at first I thought might just be lopsided. However, it almost seems intentional as it is polished on the rim. It may be the shape is mountain with a river below. The river band is fully polished and the piece is carved in the cameo style of the 1930s San Ildefonso pottery. The area below the shoulder is also fully polished. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Isabel”. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.
Isabel Pena was a granddaughter of Cipriana Pena and a daughter of Tonita Pena (ca 1847-1910) who was known for making large storage vessels. Isabel was the wife of Pasqual Martinez. She was also the mother of noted potters Teresita Martinez and Petronella Martinez. Her great-grandson, Elvis Torres continues to make pottery today.