Tammy Garcia is sculpting the future of Native American pottery

This carved redware jar with yucca decoration by Tammy Garcia achieved $14,000 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2023. Image courtesy of Santa Fe Art Auction and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — The highly polished blackware pottery of the Santa Clara region is some of the most famous and sought-after Native American pottery. Generations of women potters working with traditional techniques and motifs taught their daughters and other young women in their communities the art of pottery-making. Pottery is so ingrained in their heritage, one might even say that clay runs in their veins. This metaphor holds true for Pueblo potter Tammy Garcia (b. 1969-), who learned potting from her mother, who in turn learned from her mother, and so on. Garcia is the granddaughter of renowned Santa Clara potter Linda Cain and the great-great-grandaughter of Sara Fina (aka Serafina) Tafoya.

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Apollo Art Auctions unveils superb ancient art & antiquities, Nov. 13

Roman Imperial marble bust likely depicting Empress Julia Domna, wife of Septimus Severus late 2nd century AD. Size: 320mm (12.6in) high; 2.45kg (5lbs. 6oz). Provenance: property of a London doctor; New York private collection; Gorny & Mocsch, Munich; an old Bavarian collection. Estimate: £15,000-£30,000 ($17,415-$34,830). Image provided by Apollo Art Auctions, London
Roman Imperial marble bust likely depicting Empress Julia Domna, wife of Septimus Severus late 2nd century AD. Size: 320mm (12.6in) high; 2.45kg (5lbs. 6oz). Provenance: property of a London doctor; New York private collection; Gorny & Mocsch, Munich; an old Bavarian collection. Estimate: £15,000-£30,000 ($17,415-$34,830). Image provided by Apollo Art Auctions, London

LONDON – Apollo Art Auctions, the connoisseur’s choice for authentic, expertly vetted ancient art and antiquities, takes pleasure in announcing highlights of its November 13 gallery auction. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Peter Voulkos literally changed the shape of modern ceramics

An untitled 1968 Peter Voulkos glazed and gouged gas-fired stoneware vessel brought $60,000 in June 2020 at Wright. Image courtesy of Wright and LiveAuctioneers.
An untitled 1968 Peter Voulkos glazed and gouged gas-fired stoneware vessel brought $60,000 in June 2020 at Wright. Image courtesy of Wright and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — Peter Voulkos was not just an innovator but a rock star in the field of ceramics. Wildly abstract forms are now the norm in the artistic medium, but someone had to show the way, and Voulkos was that trailblazer. He revolutionized the field in the 1950s, pushing ceramics past its humble functional roles and reimagining them as unusual and monolithic sculptures.

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Santa Clara blackware: rooted in Native American tradition

A monumental and ornate blackware vessel by Margaret Tafoya attained $16,000 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2018 at Cowan’s Auctions.
A monumental and ornate blackware vessel by Margaret Tafoya attained $16,000 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2018 at Cowan’s Auctions.
A monumental and ornate blackware vessel by Margaret Tafoya attained $16,000 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2018 at Cowan’s Auctions.

NEW YORK — Santa Clara blackware pottery is renowned for its sleek and nearly metallic black finish that is typically carved with Native American imagery or geometric elements. Pueblo potters in this region of New Mexico, particularly the Tafoya family, are well known for their handcrafted vessels, which traditionally have been made by girls and women. A few men potters, however, have seen their work perform well at auction, and have become more well known in recent decades, including Joseph Lonewolf, Nathan Martinez, Greg Garcia, and Jerry Sisneros.

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