people of the Southwest, particularly New Mexico, have much in common
with the people of Maine and New England. They share a love and respect
for nature, for tradition, for art and fine craftsmanship, creativity
and for that which is one-of-a-kind and enduring.
All of the pottery displayed on this site is hand coiled, created without a potter's wheel or the use of any machinery. The colors are derived from plants and minerals. The clay is hand dug from special areas on the pueblos. It is then refined and conditioned by hand. The clay is treated with the greatest reverence as a gift from Mother Earth. Most clay sources are dug by several generations of only one family. Many of these potters use traditional brushes made from the chewed fibers of the Yucca and most all of the pots are fired in wood fires, not kilns.
Horse or sheep dung is used to create the different coloration of the pots particularly among the Hopi, accounting for the desired 'blushes' on many of their pots. It is extremely labor intensive work and there is a high mortality rate among the pots in this lengthily process. When several pots are fired at the same time, one exploding pot can destroy the work of many days. The larger the pot, the more vulnerable it is to damage or destruction. As with all handmade art, small flaws (such as fire clouds or pitting and minor variations in the slip) are sometimes unavoidable and really do not detract from the beauty or value of the piece.
On the following pages are photographs of pottery we presently have available for purchase. The pottery varies in price range, origin, and attributes in the hope that our clients will find the piece of pottery that "speaks to them" as only pueblo pottery can. For these artists, working with clay is their voice and the voice of the Earth coming together as one. When you are surrounded by this work, or holding a pot in your hands, you cannot help but be moved to understand that which we have in common with this pottery; the parallel of our lives with its creation, its shaping, its life, and someday, its final passing - from dust to dust. For pueblo potters, that connection is an essential and traditional part of their lives.
Hopi and Hopi-Tewa pottery has its beginnings
with a young Tewa woman named Nampeyo (at left, Courtesy Museum of
New Mexico), who worked as translator and courier for an archeological
expedition at the nearby ruins of the Hopi village of Sityatki in the
late 1800s. She re-created some of the Hopi designs in clay using her
knowledge of Tewa pottery tradition. Today, the descendants of Nampeyo
produce beautiful pottery that can sell for many thousands of dollars
and it all began with a creative girl who made and sold pottery for
the tourists of the 1890s traveling by train across the Southwest.
The work of many accomplished, contemporary pueblo potters sells for several thousand dollars a piece now, but it was not that long ago their work was purchased for $100 or more, ...or less! Like paintings or sculpture, fine pueblo pottery increases in value and can be seen as an alternative financial investment. It is an investment that affords a person great aesthetic pleasure and spiritual connectivity, as does any fine work of art, and it does increase in value.
prestigious gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has so much confidence
in the equity growth of the pueblo pottery it sells that they offer
to buy back any piece of pottery they sell for up to 18 months at the
original purchase price because the value of the piece will have grown
during that time period.
Mother Earth & the Human Spirit made One!
Acoma Hopi-Tewa Jemez Santa
2009, 2015 The contents of this website, all photography, graphics and
text are copyright to Paul Luise as is the name Pueblo Pottery In Maine,
Pueblo Pottery Maine,