Traditional reduction-fired blackware has been made for centuries by pueblo artists. The rapid shift in the early 20th century from traditional blackware to the black-on-black style that broke with tradition was triggered by the innovations of María Martinez of P’ohwhóge Owingeh.
About Black-on-black ware in brief
Traditional reduction-fired blackware has been made for centuries by pueblo artists. Black-on-black ware of the past century is produced with a smooth surface, with the designs applied through selective burnishing or the application of refractory slip. Another style involves carving or incising designs and selectively polishing the raised areas. Both types are typically made using traditional methods of hand-coiling local clay and firing it in a pit. The rapid shift in the early 20th century from traditional blackware to the black- on-black style that broke with tradition was triggered by the innovations of María Martinez of P’ohwhóge Owingeh. The pots are surrounded with sheets of metal to reduce the amount of oxygen, and then smothered with damp manure. The smoke impregnates the clay with carbon to produce the blackened finish. By 1925, Martinez’ pots were in demand, and selling for prices that benefited the pueblos by enabling new houses to be built and farming equipment to be purchased. The pottery can be found in many museums and private collections. Several contemporary artists have created works honoring the pottery of their ancestors. Other members of the Martinez and extended family work in the burnon style as well as other styles of pottery in the Apple Leaf Leaf and Flower Mountain styles.
The work of Santana Roybal Martinez is learned from Maria and Julian Martinez and would sign her pots \”Marie and Santana\”. In 1943, when Julian died, when Maria became too old, Santana took on the task of polishing and decorating her pots. The pots of Carmelita Vigil Vigil and Jeannie Dunlap: Flower Mountain and Star Flower are well-known in their own right, in private and public collections in New Mexico and elsewhere in the U.S. Their work can be. found in numerous public collections and private and private private collections in the United States and abroad. They are also known as the Flower Mountain Potters and the Flower Leaf Potters of the Mountain Mountain Pueblo, in Arizona and New Mexico, and as the Leaf Leaf Pottery of the Pacific Northwest, in Canada and in the Philippines, in Australia and in South Africa. For more information, visit: http://www.carmelita.com/flower-mountain-pottery-of-the-mountains-and-pueblos/ and www.theflowerleafpottery.com/. For more on the Black-On-Black style, go to: http://www.museumofmuseums.org/pueblo/black-on black-wares/ and http:www.tasteofmuseum.org/.