5001-20 Emily Tafoya Bladewall "Mimbres Turtles " Polychrome pottery
Santa Clara Pottery
1 7/8" x 2 3/8"
Signed Emily Tafoy SCP
Emily was the wife of noted potter Ray Tafoya and the mother of Jennifer Moquino. She is known for her miniature sgraffito pottery and has won awards at Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum Market. Her work has been featured in books such as "Generations".
An Oklahoma Kiowa Indian, Emily has made Santa Clara her home since 1973 with her husband Ray. Her work is on display in many galleries throughout the Southwest, and she has participated in the Santa Fe Indian Market every year since 1977.
Emily creates incised (sgrafitto) Santa Clara pottery. Her pots are traditionally made and then completely covered with contemporary design work. Clay from local hills is combined with volcanic ash found in the Espanola Valley of northern New Mexico. The pots are carefully formed and the clay slip is applied in layers. The piece is then polished to a high sheen. The firing techniques bring out the desired colors: black, red, or green. The pots are then painstakingly etched. The result is a sparkling pottery gem prized by collectors the world over. They know to look for the authentic snow-capped mountain logo at the bottom go each pot along with Emily’s name.
Emily counts her five children – all potters – as her life’s greatest achievement. The family enthusiastically explores new design ideas, and Emily continues to develop her unique stylized motifs while also working on larger pieces in addition to the miniatures for which she is known.
This is Emily’s statement about her work:
As a child, I always loved to do art in any form that came along. At 15 years of age, I began to take the art of pottery making more seriously. There were different family members who helped in teaching me to shape, polish, and fire pottery in the traditional manner. in 1980, I began to design and make pottery in contemporary forms. My incised designs are inspired by pueblo culture and its local wildlife.
It is important to me to show others my unique style of contemporary pottery. It is equally important to stay within traditional methods in the making and firing of the pottery.
When doing a pot, I feel that each individual piece has its own distinct personality. Whether it is a human or wildlife design, it means a great deal to me to produce clean, sharp imagery on each and every pot.
I have been making pottery for over 22 years and still find it enjoyable. I sincerely hope that I can provide others with a sense of pleasure in seeing my pots as I see them… as sparkling pottery “gems.”