Rachel Medina, working in the traditional Santa Ana style, slipping the base and interior in red and the body of the pot in a light buff color. She then paints bold geometric designs in red and gray upon this background, using cloud and rain symbols and other elements drawn from nature. This expertly crafted bowl is a timeless work of fine art from one of today’s finest Pueblo potters.
- Bowl handmade by Rachel Medina (Zia/Santa Ana)>
- Natural clay with all-natural vegetal and mineral slip
- Crafted through traditional horizontal coil method
- Traditional Santa Ana style designs
- Pot measures 7” high x 8-1/4” long x 7-1/4” wide
- 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.
Rachel Medina was born to Sofia and Rafael Medina in Zia Pueblo, and learned to make pottery from her mother. Among her siblings are Marcellus Medina and Lois Medina. Rachel married into Santa Ana Pueblo, and Eudora Montoya taught her Santa Ana designs. Today, Rachel makes pottery that is a unique mix of the two heritages.
Santa Ana pottery is among the most difficult to find of all types of Pueblo pottery, and there are only a handful of active potters working today. Historically, Santa Ana did not have a strong pottery tradition like nearby Zia Pueblo, and people of Santa Ana Pueblo often traded crops and other goods for Zia wares. Artisans who did create pottery in Santa Ana often emulated Zia’s style.
Pottery production had mostly died out by the 1920s, and was not revived until the 1970s under the leadership of Eudora Montoya, the only remaining traditional potter at that time. Hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Montoya taught classes in traditional pottery-making, an effort continued by her student, Elveria Montoya.
Santa Ana potters are known for creating sturdy vessels with red clay collected from the banks of the Jemez River. Traditionally, the base and interior are painted red, and the body is painted with a buff slip. Red or black designs are painted onto the body, usually bold geometric shapes. With so few Santa Ana artists creating pottery using natural clay and traditional methods, any piece is a rare and valuable work of art.
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. 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.