Erik Fender Than Tsideh


  • Award-winning Potter & Silversmith
  • San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Traditional and Contemporary San Ildefonso Pottery, black on black, and two-tone, and polychrome
  • New Mexico Congressional Art Competition
  • Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show
  • Santa Fe Indian Market

Erik Fender (Than Tsideh or Sunbird, born 1970) is a highly skilled and creative potter from San Ildefonso Pueblo. His work has been influenced by his mother, Martha Appleleaf, and his grandmother, legendary potter Carmelita Dunlap. Over the years Fender has worked in a variety of styles both traditional and contemporary, including polychrome, black-on-black and black-on-red with sgraffito carving. He is also known for his innovative green-on-black and green-on-red vessels. His designs often include traditional feather patterns as well as his own contemporary interpretations of petroglyphs and animal forms. All of his work is made by hand with clay gathered from San Ildefonso Pueblo and constructed using the traditional coil method. Also a talented painter and sculptor, Fender has won First Place awards at Santa Fe Indian Market and other prestigious shows.

Erik Fender Than Tsideh is one of five Pueblo potters who honored the Starbucks at Avanyu Plaza upon its grand opening in 2015 by crafting a custom “Starbucks-style” clay mug. The one-of-a-kind piece is on permanent display in the cafe for visitors to enjoy, alongside four others by artists Robin Teller (Isleta), Elizabeth Medina (Zia), Frederica Antonio (Acoma), and Patricia Lowden (Acoma).

Read the interview with Erik and learn about his family's history, San Ildefonso pottery making, the process involved with the "Starbucks" mug, and more... HERE >>