Friday, October 16, 2009

Art and Artists ~ From The Taos Pueblo

When you are in a place like Taos or Santa Fe, it's not hard to find shops which specialize in local artwork. Though I love to look in these places, I always prefer to buy from street vendors or in other words, the actual artist. Just as many artistic people feel that the process or creative journey is more important than the finished work, when buying art, I feel the same way. I want to make some sort of connection.

Maybe what I'll come home with is ordinary in comparison to the extraordinary available in a gallery. It doesn't matter to me in the slightest. I don't want a keepsake so I can show it off as the finest of art to all who cross its path. I want to admire my pieces and remember the experience of finding them.

I love looking over table tops or in this case, in and out of Pueblo shops, until something catches my eye. Then I can talk to the seller who very often is the artist, but if not, tends to be related. It seemed especially so in the Pueblo shops. Family and friends come together to form small business groups taking turns with all of the tasks.

These pictures of first a bear and then my little quail friend, are examples of horse hair pottery. Horse hair is applied to the clay before firing. The hair burns off in the kiln leaving behind pretty designs. No two ever look exactly alike which makes it very hard to pick your favorites. Somehow I managed. (Vacation can be hard work!)

As I made my selections, a young woman sat next to her warm kiva painting a small clay bowl. I asked her if she made these pieces, but her answer was no. They were made by another member of the family. I asked if she had a card or any information she could give me. She had only one card which she told me was her aunt. So the closest I can get you to the origin of these pieces is the name Dolly Luhan (the aunt) of Sunflower Pueblo Creations. Perhaps if you are ever visiting the Taos Pueblo, you can find their little shop in the Northern Pueblo.

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