Robert Tenorio

  • Master Traditional Potter
  • Santo Domingo (Kewa) Pueblo
  • Creates vessels in the traditional Santo Domingo style
  • Known for reviving the art of pottery in Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • First Place, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • First Place, Eight Northern Pueblos Art Show
  • Governor’s Award, Santa Fe Indian Market

Robert Tenorio (b. 1950) of Santo Domingo (Kewa Pueblo) is one of the foremost Pueblo potters working today and has played an extremely important role in reviving and bringing attention to the legacy of Santo Domingo pottery. He first learned the fundamentals of working with clay at the age of ten from family members, including his grandmother Andrea Ortiz. Today he is known for his polychrome pots created in the traditional Santo Domingo style, which typically features a red base and red interior and black designs painted on a buff background. Tenorio is particularly known for his large vessels with striking geometric and nature designs inspired by centuries-old Santo Domingo pottery. All of Tenorio’s pots are constructed by hand using the traditional coil method and fired outdoors in an open kiln using cottonwood bark as fuel. His pigments are also created from natural organic materials, including Rocky Mountain beeweed. Tenorio studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and has won numerous awards at Santa Fe Indian Market and other prestigious Native arts shows.