Brenda Tafoya

  • Award-winning contemporary potter
  • Jemez Pueblo
  • Creates distinctive “melon cut” pottery
  • Sgraffito designs include serpents, hummingbirds, butterflies & owls
  • SWAIA-Santa Fe Indian Market
  • Comes from distinguished pottery family
  • Builds upon art of mother, acclaimed potter Vangie Tafoya

"I will always be grateful to my mother, Vangie Tafoya, for teaching and encouraging me to create pottery. I hope that one day I will be just like her." (Brenda Tafoya, Potter)

As a child, Brenda Tafoya of Jemez Pueblo watched in awe as her mother, famed potter Vangie Tafoya, created delicate sgraffito vessels in the family home. At 10 years old, she began creating her own simple bowls and since then has become an expert potter herself. She calls her distinctive style of work “melon cut” pottery and uses three different colors of slip to create brilliant patterns in her pieces. Her work comes to life with complex sgraffito designs that represent serpents, hummingbirds, butterflies and owls. Her trademark kiva steps can be found both in her pottery designs and in her signature. Honoring her mother’s work and her family’s pottery legacy while also developing a style of her own, Tafoya is truly a cutting-edge and talented artist creating high-quality pottery.