Sgraffito Water Serpent (Avanyu) Inlay Turquoise 4.75"H x 5.5"Diameter by Juan Tafoya (1949-2006) - San Ildefonso Pueblo

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From the Collection of Brenda and John Blom.

Juan Tafoya was a well-known San Ildefonso Pueblo potter who has been active since 1970.  He passed away prematurely at age 57 years.  Early on in his career, Juan began experimenting with firing techniques to achieve a brown/black combination, and experimented with using turquoise as a decorative element.  He specialized in sgraffito designs where he would chip away at the polished slip to form a textured background.

According to a letter previously provided by Juan Tafoya, he was a life-long resident of San Ildefonso Pueblo and was involved in pottery since he was first able to gather the materials that go into making pottery. He was taught the art of pottery making by his mother, Donicia Tafoya.