Betty Tafoya (1933-1988) Biography

Betty Tafoya learned to make pottery from her husband, Lee Tafoya. Lee is the son of the famed potter Margaret Tafoya, the matriarch who set the standard for contemporary pottery at Santa Clara. Betty and Lee often worked together. However, she also made pieces on her own. Lee usually made and carved the pots, and Betty did the polishing. Their pottery became renowned for their beauty and gunmetal finishes. Betty was one of the few anglo women making pottery in Santa Clara pueblo at that time. She taught Linda Tafoya, her daughter, pottery making. Linda is also a well-known potter who makes beautiful, deeply carved, and highly polished pots.

Betty Tafoya - Santa Clara Black Carved BowlSanta Clara Black Carved Bowl, c. 1970, 4.25" x 8.5" by Betty Tafoya

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