Handmade Santa Clara Pottery
Handmade pottery by Santa Clara artist, Gwen Tafoya with Sgraffito design with the floral motif is Gwen's signature style. Pottery of the Santa Clara and San Ildefonso people is known for it's unique, almost metallic, finish in black and red. This process is achieved by a high polish and in the firing technique using cattle or sheep manure to oxidize the slip and create the color. This pot is decorated with floral motifs.
Gwen Tafoya was born in 1965 into the Santa Clara Pueblo-Tewa. She began experimenting with pottery making at the age of 6. She started out hand coiling small bowls and pots using traditional methods. Gwen began making larger pieces of pottery by the time she reached the age of 16 and eventually would etch on the pottery steadily. Gwen was inspired to make pottery by her mother, Mary Ann Tafoya. Mary Ann taught Gwen the fundamentals of hand coiling traditional Santa Clara pottery.
Gwen specializes in hand coiling traditional Santa Clara pottery. She especially likes to make seed pots because she has more room to etch her favorite designs of hummingbirds or flowers on top of the pottery. Gwen also enjoys making wedding vases because of the meaning behind them. Gwen signs her pottery: Gwen Tafoya SCP. She is related to Angela Baca (aunt), Madeline Naranjo (aunt), Belen Tapia (aunt), Tina Garcia, Greg Garcia, Virgie Garcia and Paul Speckled Rock (cousins).