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Talking with the Clay, 20th Anniversary Revised Edition

The Art of Pueblo Pottery in the 21st Century

Stephen Trimble

When you hold a Pueblo pot in your hands, you feel a tactile connection through the clay to the potter and to centuries of tradition. You will find no better guide to this feeling than Talking with the Clay. Stephen Trimble’s photographs capture the spirit of Pueblo pottery in its stunning variety, from the glittering micaceous jars of Taos Pueblo to the famous black ware of San Ildefonso Pueblo, from the bold black-on-white designs of Acoma Pueblo to the rich red and gold polychromes of the Hopi villages. His portraits of potters communicate the elegance and warmth of these artists, for this is the potters’ book. Revealed through dozens of conversations, their stories and dreams span seven generations and more than a century, revealing how potterymaking helps bridge the gap between worlds, between humans and clay, springing from old ways but embracing change. In this revised, expanded, and redesigned edition, Trimble brings his classic into the twenty-first century with interviews and photographs from a new generation of potters working to preserve the miraculous balance between tradition and innovation.

2007. 160 pp., 190 color & black-and-white images, map, notes, index, 8 x 10

Contributors: Stephen Trimble

Awards: 2008 New Mexico Book Award Best Art Book

Download an excerpt.

“Shifting back and forth from respect for tradition to the joy of innovation, the tale is held together by the common love of clay.”
—New York Times

“Stephen Trimble reveals the rich and delicate balance between the personal and the traditional in Southwestern pottery. His deep knowledge, clear prose, and use of Native voice give the reader a unique opportunity to understand the lives of the people and the spirit of the clay that underlie the contemporary beauty of this ancient art form.”
—Eric Blinman, New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies

“Shifting back and forth from respect for tradition to the joy of innovation, the tale is held together by the common love of clay.”
—Diego Romero, Cochiti Pueblo potter


  1. Talking with the Clay: Technique
  2. Mountain Villages: Taos, Picuris, & the Micaceous Revolution
  3. The Red & the Black: Tewa Pueblos
  4. Telling Stories: Middle Rio Grande Pueblos
  5. Clay Made from History: Acoma, Laguna, & Zuni
  6. The Legacy of Sikyatki: Hopi
  7. One with the Clay: Economics, Art, & Tradition

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.