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Angela Baca

Native American


4 x 6 in. (10.16 x 15.24 cm)
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Angela Baca’s Bowl, widely known as a melon bowl due to its form, is one of her most recognizable designs and has been associated with her family for generations. The melon bowl is identifiable by its repeated fluted bands that create a rhythmic pattern forming the body of the vessel and representing its organic namesake. Baca’s melon bowls are slipped in iron red, polished with a stone to achieve a high shine, then fired either with a smothered reduction method to achieve a black finish or an oxidizing kiln atmosphere for a red finish.

Baca was a member of the Santa Clara Pueblo. She learned pottery from her mother, the well-known Santa Clara Pueblo potter Severa Tafoya. The distinctively bold and elegant design of the melon-shaped vessels has been associated with Baca and her mother since the early 1960s.
Baca’s early experiments with the form won several awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Matthew Limb

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