Clarence Cruz Pueblo Pottery Mug

Item No: 10696

$ 25.00

  • A Shumakolowa Native Arts exclusive! This unique café-style ceramic mug is a replica of a single beautiful clay pot handcrafted by skilled Ohkay Owingeh artist Clarence Cruz.

    This mug features traditional designs of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, and evokes the long history of utilitarian ware that the village is known for creating.

    Cruz is a skilled potter and pottery instructor, teaching students of all skill levels. He specializes in traditional corrugated polychrome styles, and micaceous pottery.

    This replica is practical way to bring the beauty of traditional Pueblo pottery designs into your everyday life, and also makes a great gift.

    The originals for Series 1 through 3 are on display at Shumakolowa Native Arts, located inside the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. All of the participating artists receive royalties for each mug sold, with proceeds also supporting the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico.

    Collect all five designs in Series 3, available exclusively at Shumakolowa Native Arts!
    • Collectible tall café-style mug
    • Original designs by artist Clarence Cruz (Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo)
    • Cup measurements: 6" H x 4-1/2" L x 3-1/4" W
    • 16 oz
    • Ceramic
    • This Item is Not Dishwasher or Microwave Safe
    • The mugs are designed by Pueblo artists from New Mexico, and printed on imported ceramics.

  • Clarence Cruz is Tewa from Ohkay Owingeh, formerly known as San Juan Pueblo, and a graduate of the University of New Mexico.

    As a potter and instructor, he works with raw materials that he gathers from different sites on public lands. These materials consist of clays, slips, mineral pigments, volcanic ash, and Rocky Mountain bee weed used for paint (black) or as a binder.

    Clarence's traditional pottery firings are outside firings, including reduction firing, oxidation firing, and open firing (fire clouds), but also utilizes kilns when necessary. He instructs classes in Pueblo pottery at graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of New Mexico.

  • The traditional style of Ohkay Owingeh pottery is a polished red and black pottery similar to that of Santa Clara. By the late 19th century, traditional pottery-making in Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo had nearly died out. In the 1930s, a group of potters led by Regina Cata revived a historic style of pottery from the 15th century based on artifacts uncovered at a nearby ancestral site called Potsuwi’i. This revival style was called Potsuwi’i Incised Ware, and vessels in this style have a highly polished red-slip base and rim, and a central portion of unpolished tan clay that is carved with geometric designs – typically a pattern of fine parallel lines.

    The Potsuwi’i Incised Ware is unique to Ohkay Owingeh, and today is considered the Pueblo’s traditional pottery form. Today, many potters have developed variations on the Potsuwi’Ii style by using new color palettes or carving sgraffito designs, including the avanyu, feathers, and scalloped patterns. Micaceous-clay pottery similar to that of Taos and Picuris Pueblos has also been revived.

  • The most celebrated and recognized art form of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico is pottery. 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 accomplished potters are 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. 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 work directly with artists or partner with trusted wholesalers who can provide documentation that their artists and artisans are of Native American heritage. 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, we stand behind the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have developed lasting relationships with artists, dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.

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