The collaborative work of Pueblo potters Maria Martinez and her husband Julian Martinez.

Their story is an interesting one, as it was an archeological dig near their home of San Ildefonso, New Mexico that sparked the resuscitation and expansion of a traditional form. Maria would hand-build/coil her wares, their grandchildren would then burnish them with smooth stones, and Julian would paint the designs. Their works are world renowned for the shiny black pots native to the region: a surface quality resulting from firing the wares in a densely smokey reduction that trapped the carbon into the clay.   

One of these days, what I did, what you are doing, what we are doing, will be important.

Maria Martinez to her grandchildren

Carry that thought into your practice, for you know my stance well: that pottery is evidence of our endeavors. And it’s interesting that most of the clay we use in studios has been recycled, likely more than once. The next piece you toss into the recycling canister will become someone else’s revelation. The piece you carry out of the studio is the product of many other’s learning process. Each piece contains in it the effort, joy, frustration, learning, hopes, and do-overs of those who’ve come before you to the wheel. What they did, what you are doing is important, a circle with no beginning or end: as your wheel spins, so do we.