San Ildefonso PuebloSan Ildefonso is internationally famous for their black-on-black pottery which was developed in the 1920's. The first pieces made were large ollas that can be viewed at the Museum of New Mexico.
Traditional Name: Po-Woh-Ge-Oweeng “where the water cuts down through.” San Ildefonso Pueblo is located Northwest of Santa Fe, NM at the foot of Black Mesa. The Pueblo de San Ildefonso history dates back to 1300 A.D. Today, the Pueblo is a historic district listed in the National Register of historic places, recognized for its historical significance and it’s important role in the revival of Pueblo Ceramics.
The San Ildefonso pueblo is best known for their red and black ware but also continue to make polychrome bowls jars and vases as well. Tewa-speaking pueblos like San Ildefonso and Pojoaque made beautiful black and white on red Powhoge Polychrome pottery that functioned as water and storage vessels during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, high polished black, red, and two-tone ware, sometimes adorned with inlaid turquoise has become popular. So has Sgraffito ornamented with etched designs done after firing. Typical designs etched or painted on San Ildefonso pottery include bear paws, water serpent, kiva steps, and feathers. Traditional pueblo pottery forms include figurines, wedding vases and lidded jars.
By the early 1900’s, San Ildefonso pottery was becoming more refined, evolving into the modern pottery that is prevalent today. Maria Martinez and husband Julian Martinez made black on blackware famous in the 1920’s. Black ware is achieved by painting red matte slip on red clay and then smoldering the fire with manure during the last step of the firing process. The first pieces made were large ollas that can be viewed at the Museum of New Mexico.