This elegant micaceous piñon bowl was hand-sculpted and traditionally fired by Irene Simbolo of Picuris Pueblo. The clay found in the northern Pueblos of Picuris and Taos has a natural shimmer and richness thanks to a high mica content. The black smoke clouds, in contrast, appear during the firing process and lend the bowl a sense of drama. As the artist explains in an accompanying note, pottery of this form is used by the people of Picuris Pueblo to share locust or piñon: “Locust are baked in oven with salt, and they taste like piñon. We eat locust every seven years [when] they come out from piñon tree.”
- Traditionally fired piñon bowl by Irene Simbolo of Picuris Pueblo
- Natural clay with all-natural vegetal and mineral slip
- Crafted through traditional horizontal coil method
- Natural smoke cloud designs
- Bowl measures L: 4-1/2 W: 4-1/2 H: 2-1/2
- 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.
Irene Simbolo Tohtsoni is one of very few artists from Picuris Pueblo who are still creating museum-quality traditional pottery. She creates beautiful micaceous vessels in the traditional Picuris style, an art she passed on to her daughter, Therese Tohtsoni.
Taos and Picuris Pueblos produce a type of traditional pottery that is very distinct from other Pueblo pottery styles. Clay from Taos and Picuris has a very high mica content, which gives all of their pottery a very beautiful, almost metallic shimmer. Occasionally potters apply an additional micaceous clay slip before firing, or add knobs or a very simple design punched into the clay, but generally Taos and Picuris pots are unique for being unpainted, unpolished and with minimal decoration. These micaceous clay pots range in color from a lovely orange-peach to almost black. What also sets Taos and Picuris pots apart is that they are functional and can be used for cooking. The bean pot is one of their well known forms and is an excellent baking and stovetop cooking piece. Very little traditional pottery has been produced at Taos and Picuris Pueblos since 1950, but there are a few artists working to revive the tradition who create spectacular examples of traditional micaceous clay pottery.
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 and the Hopi have distinctive pottery styles that are 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.