Tafoya-Sanchez, Linda – Bowl with Seven Hummingbirds and Flowers
Linda Tafoya-Sanchez is a granddaughter of noted potter Margaret Tafoya and a daughter of Lee & Betty Tafoya. She is known for her intricately carved pottery. This bowl is coil-built, carved, polished, and traditionally fired. The bowl has seven hummingbirds carved into the clay. That is a lot of birds on the bowl for its size, as she often only does two or three as they are complex to carve and polish. Note how each bird is in a different state of flight. Linda says that she makes the pieces with the hummingbirds as they remind her of her mother, Betty. The birds are highly polished and surrounded by flowers. The area surrounding the birds is slipped with mica and the background area is matte. Linda was among the first Santa Clara potters to begin using the mica as a design element after she was given some by her San Juan Pueblo in-laws. The last photos are of the bowl before it was fired (red) and the in the firing and just out of the firing. It’s the horse manure that turns it black. The bowl is from 2021 and it is signed on the bottom, “Linda Tafoya-Sanchez”.
“The clay is a really important part of making the pottery. Listening to family members talk about how they used to get clay with Grandma and Grandpa [Margaret & Alcario Tafoya] and how they would make it an all-day venture. You feel that family connection when you are digging the clay out of the earth. It ties you to your home. There’s no other place you are going to find that kind of clay. You think about how many years people have dug that clay out of the earth, how many years Mother Earth has provided that clay for us.” Linda Tafoya-Sanchez, Spoken Through Clay