Artist: Delores Toya
Dimensions: 3 ½ x 4 ¼
The Jemez are located about 55 miles northwest of Albuquerque and migrated around the 13th century. By the time they came in contact with European explorers in the 1500s, the Jemez were among the largest and most powerful groups in the area. Pottery making has always had a role to play in the livelihoods of the Jemez people. The decorative forms died down in the mid-18th century and made a comeback in the 20th century. Today the Jemez make seed pots, wedding vases, figurines, ornaments and storytellers which are collected all across the globe.
The Jemez use painstaking methods to create their pottery- a style adopted by this artist, Delores Toya. Delores digs her clay from the Jemez Pueblo then processes it using either minerals like mica or broken pottery shards. She then forms her pieces using the coil and scrape method before painting them with paints made from organic materials. Her pieces are then fired outdoors. Like so many others, Delores passes down this tradition to members of her family and friend groups as well as to the public through in-person classes. She is both an artist and a teacher.