Acoma Pottery For Sale

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Acoma Pueblo Pottery For Sale!!

Acoma Pueblo is famous for its very thin-walled white pottery with intricate, geometrically painted designs. The detailed & eye-dazzling designs, and a range of other painted figures including parrots, lizards, other animals, and Mimbres people adorn pottery which range in size from large ollas to tiny miniature seed pots and pottery plates.

Acoma Pueblo, also known as Sky City, is over 1,000 years old, one of the oldest living communities on Earth. Their 4 main villages are Acoma Pueblo, Acomita, San Fidel, and McCartys. Although most of the community lives on the land below, it is the village in the sky that is most recognized. This large, 1,500-foot-high mesa is commonly known as Sky City (a National Historic Landmark). At no time is Sky City mesa at Acoma Pueblo without several families living in the old houses and caring for the old city and the Franciscan mission church of San Estevan, established in 1629. Located about 60 miles West of Albuquerque, Acoma Pueblo territory features beautiful mesas, deep valleys, and rolling hills. This area is also the homeland to a variety of native plants, deer, elk, antelope, coyotes, mountain lions, rabbits and hundreds of bird species.

How Acoma Pottery is Made

The thin walled and delicately painted pottery of Acoma Pueblo is among the most recognizable and prized of all Native American Indian crafts. The seeming balance and ease of a finished traditional Acoma Pueblo Pottery piece is contradictory to the immense amount of hard labor, tradition and skill that goes into the creation of a single piece of pottery. — The clay must by gathered and dug from the earth at sites most often only accessible by foot. In its original form the clay is grey, rocky, and slatelike. Large chunks (rocks) of the pottery clay must be broken into a manageable size to carry home. The clay is pulverized with rocks, and must go through several cycles of soaking, drying, and sifting to remove all unwanted material, such as pebbles and twigs. Ancient pottery shards are ground up and used to help strengthen the pottery by binding the clay and helping to prevent it from shrinking and cracking. Acoma pottery made from ‘tempered’ clay is stronger, which enables the potter to make the thin & durable walls for which Acoma pottery is known. Also, very importantly, a connection to the past is celebrated in making the temper for pottery. ‘The strength of the old strengthens the new.’ — Hand-made natural vegetal and mineral paints are used on the pottery. Paints are often created from Hematite (an iron oxide mineral), naturally colored clays, or boiled / brewed from wild spinach, yucca fruit, bee weed, and other plants. Acoma pottery is painted with yucca leaves. A yucca leaf brush can be used, or a single yucca spear can be chewed and flattened for smaller brush strokes, or a spear can be torn down to an extremely fine point to be used on ‘fine-line’ painted pottery.

Acoma Pueblo Pottery History

Although Acoma Pueblo pottery is believed to date back well more than 1,000 years, pottery jars decorated with elaborate polychrome designs were used for storing and carrying water, grains, seeds, etc. since at least the 1600’s. The earlier Acoma pottery designs included feathers and prayer designs; and later evolved to include clouds, flowers, rainbows, and birds (parrot or macaw). As with most pottery traditions, family matriarchs have been very influential in traditional Acoma Pueblo pottery. Notable matriarchs include Lucy Lewis and Marie Z. Chino, who began their pottery making careers in the 1920’s. Since these women were friends, they may have shared ideas and designs. They painted designs from ancient pottery shards found around Acoma Pueblo onto new pieces of pottery. An exceptional Acoma potter, Lucy Lewis was encouraged by anthropologist Kenneth Chapman, from the Museum of New Mexico, and further developed her use of ancient pottery designs by studying the museum’s collection of Anasazi and Mimbres pottery. Lewis and Chino adapted the prehistoric designs, and created amazing black on white (also black & orange on white) painted pottery with absolutely stunning geometric designs. These geometric designs have become the signature for Acoma Pueblo Pottery today!

Acoma pottery is created in a wide range of forms, and a variety of interesting decorations. Large pottery jars and plates are impressive; and miniature Acoma seed pots and pottery plates are equally as impressive, when the level of detail is considered. Figurines are cute and fun, yet have traditional and familial significance. Acoma pottery artists are as diverse as their pottery styles, and they are making pottery pieces as fine as ever! The Native American Indian pottery artists from Acoma Pueblo can create some of the thinnest-walled hand-coiled pottery available anywhere. The beautifully intricate geometrically painted designs are becoming incredibly detailed. The pottery art coming from Acoma Pueblo is absolutely stunning!