This elegantly formed micaceous clay bean pot was handmade by Helen Bird of Santo Domingo Pueblo. The beautiful coppery peach finish and distinctive shimmer comes from clay found in northern New Mexico that has a high mica content. The unique dark markings are a result of the firing process, evidence that this piece has been crafted by hand using traditional methods. Evoking the pottery style of Taos and Picuris Pueblos, this beautiful piece is also a functional vessel that can be used for serving or storage. A classic handmade vessel to add to your Native American art collection from one of Santo Domingo’s finest potters.
- Bean pot. handmade by Helen Bird (Santo Domingo Pueblo)
- Natural micaceous clay
- Crafted through traditional horizontal coil method
- Pot measures 8” high x 7-1/4” long x 7-1/2” wide
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
Helen Bird is a renowned Santo Domingo pottery who makes elegant vessels in the traditional Santo Domingo style. She was introduced to the art when she was 12 years old by her great aunt who brought her along to gather clay from a special hill in their village. Since 1991, Bird has been making pottery professionally. Today she is one of Santo Domingo’s most prominent pottery artists.
Santo Domingo is most known for its beautiful heishi necklaces handcrafted from shell and gemstones but the Pueblo also has a long and distinguished tradition of beautiful handmade pottery. The pottery of Santo Domingo can appear more simple in form and design than the work of other Pueblos, with artists often specializing in larger forms like water jars, ollas and dough bowls. The traditional Santo Domingo style features brown, black or red designs on a buff background, often with a red base, though red-on-black and blackware pots are also made today. Santo Domingo vessels are most easily distinguished from pottery of other Pueblos by their large, blocky and often symmetrical designs. The Pueblo is one of the most conservative, and painting realistic animals, human figures or other sacred symbols on pottery is discouraged. Common designs include flowers, geometric motifs such as circles and scalloped patterns, and stylized birds and animals. Today there are a number of skilled Santo Domingo potters creating elegant traditional pots, carrying on the legacy of an ancient and beautiful craft.
The most celebrated and recognized art form of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, Pueblo pottery is known around the world for its remarkable beauty and craftsmanship. It has been made in much the same way for over a thousand years, with every step of creation completed by hand. Pueblo potters do not use a wheel but construct pots using the traditional horizontal coil method or freely forming the shape. After the pot is formed, the artist polishes the piece with a natural polishing stone, such as a river stone, then paints it with a vegetal, mineral or commercial slip. Finally, the pot is fired in an outdoor fire or kiln using manure or wood as fuel. Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Jemez and Acoma Pueblos have distinctive pottery styles that are especially prized by collectors, but there are accomplished potters working in all Pueblos. Today, Pueblo pottery is an exciting and dynamic form, with many artists pairing traditional techniques with innovative and stylized designs. Those potters who continue to create pots using traditional methods possess an extraordinary level of skill, and their pots are highly valuable works of fine art that will be enjoyed for generations to come.Read our Native American Pottery Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft. Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. At a time when many commercially-made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.