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Understanding What Pueblo Pottery Is
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Understanding What Pueblo Pottery Is

The Pueblo pottery tradition is rich with artistry and beautiful pieces which would be an incredible addition to any art collection. The rise in popularity of these pieces can be attributed to the fascinating history as well as beautiful craftsmanship.

If you’re interested in purchasing a piece of Pueblo pottery, either as a gift or for your own personal collection, here are some fascinating tidbits for you to learn more about exactly where this pottery comes from.

  • The Pueblo People

The Pueblo People have inhabited the Southwestern United States now for centuries. Historical records indicate that Pueblo Native Americans were nomadic until sometime in the 14th century, at which point many began to build more permanent residences and take up farming practices. Their unique architectural styles have developed since this time and many are familiar with the traditional domiciles made of natural materials such as adobe and stone.

With the adoption of more permanent community locations and farming practices, the rise of pottery production as well as other artistic endeavors such as stone sculpting and weaving began.

  • Pottery Origins & Materials

Traditional Pueblo pottery is crafted from clay that comes from the dry hills in the desert areas of what is now Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Sand or crushed sandstone was originally used to temper the clay and enhance hardness, and natural pigments made from local plant materials were used to enhance colors..In the present day, most pottery is still made from natural clays and pigments found in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico.

  • Craftmanship and Techniques

In the Pueblo pottery tradition, it was and still is common for pieces to be fully shaped by hand without any pottery wheels. The artist uses slabs or coils for shaping, then might use something like a flat stone or piece of metal to smooth the surface of the clay and fine-tune thickness and shape. After this, the piece would normally be left in the sun for a couple of days to dry, and then painted with various naturally occurring pigments. The piece would then be fired for a few hours until complete.

  • Modern Popularity

As mentioned, pieces of Pueblo pottery have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few decades, with many different knock-offs available online for purchase. Modern craftsmen working in the traditional Pueblo tradition do still exist, and their pieces are highly coveted. There are currently 21 federally recognized pueblos in the Southwest, each with a unique style and tradition of pottery creation, so it’s important to do your research and check the providence of any piece you’re looking to purchase!

If you’re looking to add a piece of Pueblo pottery to your collection, at Palms Trading Company we would love to help make this happen! We carry unique and handcrafted pottery from local artisans and can even hook you up with our personal shopper service to help support your purchase. Contact Palms Trading Company today and let us help you find the perfect piece to add to your collection!