Twenty-first Century San Felipe Pottery

Pitcher with dragonfly design by Gerren Candelaria, clay and paint, c. 2012Pitcher with dragonfly design by Gerren Candelaria, clay and paint, c. 2012Courtesy Gerren Candelaria. Photograph by School for Advanced Research
Pitcher with dragonfly design by Gerren Candelaria, clay and paint, c. 2012
Polychrome jar with cut-out rim by Ricardo Ortiz, clay and paint, 2012Polychrome jar with cut-out rim by Ricardo Ortiz, clay and paint, 2012Courtesy Ricardo Ortiz. Photograph by School for Advanced Research
Polychrome jar with cut-out rim by Ricardo Ortiz, clay and paint, 2012

Given the history of San Felipe Pueblo pottery, what does its pottery look like today? Most scholars and potters agree that contemporary pottery covers a wide range of styles, materials, and techniques. In Francis Harlow’s Matte-Paint Pottery of the Tewa, Keres and Zuni Pueblos (1971), he observed that among other things, San Felipe pottery seemed to encompass a rather experimental style. This idea was echoed in discussions with contemporary San Felipe potters about the nature of their culture and artistic production. They noted that there is a consistent trend of experimentation and change in their own artistic practice as well as in the production of other art forms in the Pueblo.

What follows are short interviews and biographies of the San Felipe potters that participated in the seminars as well as examples of their work. This list is by no means inclusive of all San Felipe potters working today, but provides a window into the diversity, perseverance, and constantly evolving nature of this art form.

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