Santo Domingo Pueblo is reputed to be one of the most unchanged Pueblo cultures since the arrival of Spanish explorers. Indeed, European influence is as little evident in minimalistic stone-slab and Heishi Santo Domingo Pueblo jewelry as in its traditional pottery.

Unique Techniques

In comparison to other Pueblos’ intricately-designed pottery, pottery made by Santo Domingo artists is simple—traditional ollas of buff clay are decorated primarily with black and terra cotta paints, geometric patterns and floral and animal designs.

What makes Santo Domingo pottery so unique and remarkable, however, is the ways in which artists create the vessel’s appearance. Many Pueblos use a stone-finish technique to give their pieces a polished gloss, but Santo Domingo artists use an egg white finish to achieve a glossy sheen.

Native American Indian Pueblo Handmade Pottery
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Even more impressive is the painting. Many Santo Domingo Pueblo pottery designs are created by large blocks of black color and negative space, unlike the intricate fine line patterns of the Acoma Pueblo. But Santo Domingo artists use all natural paints that are all but invisible until the piece is fired. To create any design, artists must be sure of their brushstrokes because there is no room for error.

Renowned Santo Domingo Pueblo Artists

Among the Pueblo’s thriving pottery tradition is renowned artist Robert Tenorio. Tenorio learned the art of pottery-making from his grandmother and continues to use the traditional hand-coiling and outdoor-firing techniques. His work has won several awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market, Eight Northern Pueblo shows and New Mexico State Fair.

Adding Santo Domingo Pottery to Your Collection

Because of its lack of ornamentation often associated to European influence, Santo Domingo pottery best reflects indigenous Pueblo culture among the Native American Indian pottery traditions. Adding Santo Domingo pottery to your collection lends a touch of antiquity to the Southwestern style.

Palms Trading Company carries a fine selection of Santo Domingo pottery, including a number of pieces by artist Robert Tenorio. Even more are available in our store. If you’d like to view more of our Santo Domingo pottery collection, contact us for assistance from our personal shopper.