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Alice Martinez

Native American


4 x 7 x 7 in.
Gift of Nora Eccles Harrison

Alice Martinez’s Bowl has much in common with the vessels created by her grandparents, María and Julian Martinez. Alice learned pottery making from her father, Richard, and has continued the long-lived traditions in Pueblo ceramics of gathering clay from sacred grounds, processing the clay, hand coiling, and firing outdoors with animal manure. Bowl is an unusual piece, as it breaks from the traditional black-on-black pottery her family pioneered in favor of brown. The vessel is hand polished with a river stone to achieve the signature gloss and matte finish.

Alice Martinez has maintained her family’s legacy of Pueblo ceramics for more than fifty years. She frequently collaborates with her son Ruben Martinez. The two have experimented widely with the Tunyo polychrome technique, a traditional style of the San Ildefonso Pueblo that lacks the glossy matte finish that the Martinez family popularized with their black-on-black ware in the early twentieth century.

Matthew Limb

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