Specializing in Native American Crafts Since 1916

Mary Small

Skills
Potter

Artist Profile

Mary Small, “Kal-la-Tee” (New Indian Basket), was born into the Jemez pueblo in 1945 to Seriaco and Perfectita Toya, all members of the Sun Clan. Mary learned the art of traditional pottery making by assisting her mother. Mary was schooled in the “old way” of pottery making and has mastered the art of processing clay from the earth, hand coiling and outdoor firing. Mary and her husband experimented with natural paints to come up with her unique blue/gray slip and burnt red/orange designs. Mary prays to her pots at each stage of the clay rocess. “When my pottery is finished, they are blessed, they have power,” Small said. She believes her pottery will bring good luck to all who purchase her creations. Mary feels that Native Americans have a special responsibility to protect the larger society from its own lack of harmony with nature and the best way to help is to continue being faithful to their heritage. She is also afraid of changes that may dilute the traditional ways of her people.

Recent Work by Mary Small

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