Artist of the moment…… Maria Martinez

Maria Martinez was born in 1887 in San Ildefionso Pueblo, New Mexico. She and her family helped to renew interest in the ancient black pottery made by her people. This area of Mexico is nearly 20 miles from Sante Fe. Its where the artist and her family live and execute their knowledge of pottery.  Martinez was a Tewa Native American.

Maria Martinez learned how to create her pottery by watching her aunt Nicolasa and another women from the area named Maraget Tafoya. Maria Martinez was given a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In this clip we watch as Maria Martinez and son go to collect the dirt to make her famous black clay pots. One of my favorite interviews!:

An excavation led by a Edgar Hewett led to some black on black pottery examples. Hewett wanted to find an artist who he could help teach to make a more modern version, perhaps for museums of these wonderful black vessels. He chose Maria Martinez as the artist to execute his plan.

Maria was disappointed as she could not get her black as dark as the ancient methods. She put these works out of view. However, when shown these works they sold very quickly and her method of making them “modern pottery!” And she was a very successful as an artist.

Price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $50,000.

Maria Martinez passeda way in 1980.

Yet another great family of artists! Its great to see how in tune with their materials they use, just different parts of the earth and water. So simple yet so beautiful.

D

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