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Madeline Naranjo - October 2000

The Highlight of the Month program at The Indian Craft Shop focuses on a particular craft area, region or artist family/group. Our aim is to illustrate the diversity of tribal groups and the wide variety of artistic expressions and traditions in the country today.

Madeline Naranjo and Adrian Garcia are young potters from the Santa Clara Pueblo. Madeline has been potting since 1991. She was taught the skill by her paternal grandmother, also named Madeline Naranjo. Adrian Garcia, Madeline's husband, is a noted sgraffito artist in his own right. His mother, Effie Garcia, is a renowned potter skilled in the deep-carving technique.

Santa Clara pottery is made from the red clay of northern New Mexico. The pottery is fashioned in the traditional hand-coiled method. It is polished before the outdoor firing takes place. The pottery will be red in color (redware) unless the potter smothers the fire at the height of the firing process in order to achieve a black color.

Madeline and Adrian's work is a collaboration of skills: Madeline does the potting and polishing and Adrian is chiefly responsible for the firing. Their work is usually black in color. Both artists design and carve the pots using a deep-carving method to achieve their distinctive patterns. Deep carving is a very difficult technique since the artist cannot carve too deeply into the clay without destroying the pot itself.

Madeline and Adrian's wares are greatly admired for the highly polished finish and meticulous designs. Most recently, they received 2nd and 3rd place awards at Indian Market 2000. Madeline and Adrian are full-time potters who have devoted themselves to preserving the ancient craft of the Santa Clara region and to producing high quality pottery which is truly representative of their people.

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