San Ildefonso Pottery
San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico is known for the beautiful blackware pottery style known as “black on black,” first created by the famed potter Maria Martinez and her husband, Julian Martinez, in the 1920s. This pottery style features a highly-polished black finish with intricate geometric designs painted on the surface in matte grey. Another stylistic innovation seen in San Ildefonso pottery are designs carved into the side of the vessel in high relief. A popular carved design is the “avanyu,” or Tewa water deity, which looks like a plumed serpent undulating around the vessel. In addition to Maria Martinez, notable contemporary San Ildefonso potters include Blue Corn (1921-1999), Carmelita Dunlap (1920-2000), and Maria’s grandson, Tony Da (1940-2008).