Micaceous Pottery

IARC Seminar

November 14–17, 1994

Micaceous pottery was the connecting theme for several Indian Arts Research Center activities supported by the IAF in 1994-1995, including a Micaceous Pottery Masters’ Convocation, a Micaceous Pottery Market, and a separately sponsored book-in-progress. This sparkling golden or black pottery, made from the mica-rich clay of northern New Mexico, has traditionally been used by Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache people for cooking and storage. It is currently making the transition to a highly collectible form of art.

A weeklong Micaceous Pottery Masters’ Convocation held at the School in November 1994 brought together ten outstanding potters working in this 500-year-old tradition. “Most of us are self-taught and solitary. [The Convocation] gave us an opportunity to become acquainted with each other’s pottery and techniques.”—Christine McHorse, Micaceous PotteryModeled on the School’s highly acclaimed Advanced Seminar Program, the Convocation gave the potters an opportunity to explore one another’s work, share ideas, and collectively to take their work to the next stage. The Convocation schedule included three days of discussions in the main vault of the IARC and visits to the potters’ workshops in Santa Fe, Nambe, Picuris, La Madera, Taos, and Dulce. Navajo potter Christine McHorse spoke for the group when she said, “Most of us are self-taught and solitary. [The Convocation] gave us an opportunity to become acquainted with each other’s pottery and techniques.”

The first-ever Micaceous Pottery Market, held at the Inn at Loretto in Santa Fe in June 1995, was a direct outgrowth of the Convocation. Fifty-eight potters exhibited their work and demonstrated their styles and tools for more than 750 visitors, many of whom were exposed for the first time to the rich heritage and aesthetic beauty of micaceous wares as works of art.

With the help of the Indian Arts Fund, the IARC commissioned twenty works of pottery from the ten Master Potters for display and discussion at the Convocation and acquired ten additional pieces at the Market. The IAF-sponsored activities have provided significant information for a book on micaceous pottery by Duane Anderson. The book which is titled All That Glitters: The Emergence of Native American Micaceous Art Pottery in Northern New Mexico traces the history of this traditional art form, surveys its presence in collections worldwide, and describes the Convocation and Market.

Dawn Antelope Taos
Juanita DuBray Taos
Anthony Durand Picuris
Christine McHorse Navajo
Felipe Ortega Jicarilla Apache
Lydia Pesata Jicarilla Apache
Sharon Dryflower Reyna Taos
Edna Romero Taos
Lonnie Vigil Nambe
Angie Yazzie Taos

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