Margaret Tafoya is often called the matriarch of the Santa Clara Pueblo potters. The late artist passed away in 2001, but her legacy lives as one of the carriers of Pueblo culture and tradition. Pueblo pottery dates back to A.D. 500 and has deep roots in New Mexico, where Tafoya’s large, polished wares are viewed as a blend of the traditional and functional vessel and a fine art form.
Through Saturday, April 20, Tafoya’s work will be on view at the ASU Ceramics Research Center. According to CRC staff, Tafoya utilized ancient techniques including coiling and wood firing her clay, which she adorned with a bear paw, a symbol of the Tafoya clan. “You have to have a good heart when you sit down to make this pottery; you have to live a good life,” Tafoya once said. “The pottery knows.”