Pena, Isabel – Gunmetal Fired Bowl with Mountain Designs (1920’s)
Isabel Pena was one of the early San Ildefonso potters. This bowl is one of her black-on-black pieces. It is painted with an angular mountain pattern. The bowl is highly polished and boldly painted. It was fired a very silvery gunmetal coloration. This was the result of a very high outdoor fire. The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Isabel Pena”. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. It is one of the few pieces of hers I have seen signed with both first and last names. 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.