Artist statement Native American Artist Women in the Arts

Artist Statement

Santa Clara Pueblo Pottery

By: Judy Tafoya

A 6th Generation Potter

Artistic Philosophy:

I am proud to carry on such a noble tradition as being a pueblo potter. I believe that God has blessed the work of my hands because I am honoring my past generations, the matriarchs of pottery. I still to this day, twenty some years later am excited and amazed as each piece I create comes to life.

I’ve learned to listen to the unspoken words of the clay. Even the pieces that don’t make it through the whole process of this timely form of art still have something to tell me. I’ve learned how to be a patient mother, a good wife and an ear for a friend when needed.

The clay and my life…are intertwined in every aspect of my being. Every element of the clay and the pottery I create from it come to be in my everyday life.

I have had my share of recognitions, awards, ribbons and compliments. I have also had a good share of pottery crack in drying, burnishing and/or firing. The biggest compliment I’ve received was not a ribbon but a hand that held mine and a voice of an elderly woman from my pueblo who said that I pot just like my grandmother.

I enjoy hearing people whispering as they gaze upon an award winning piece as much as I do hearing the excitement in my children’s and grandchildren’s voices as they enjoy and learn to work in the clay.

I can see and enjoy the beauty in each piece be it a small animal figurine or a magnificent water jar. All of us are part of a grand design upon this earth and as long as I show respect and honor to God for giving me this gift I can continue to share it with others.