The traditional pottery of the Hemish, or Jemez People, this black and white (-ish) pottery is tempered with volcanic tufa, slipped with a white clay, painted with a vegetable paint, and fired in a pit.
Archaeologists typically date this pottery type from between AD 1350 and 1700.
Joshua Madalena, current governor of Jemez Pueblo, rediscovered this type of pottery when he managed the pre-historic Jemez State Monument, around 2000.
In 2005, Jemez Black-on-White was reintroduced to the art market, at Santa Fe Indian Market, after a 300-year absence.
Mr. Madalena received the SWAIA (Southwestern Association of Indian Arts) and Allen Houser Lifetime Achievement Legacy Award for Pottery in 2012, in recognition of his efforts to bring this pottery back to life.
This handsome olla could be mistaken for ancient Mimbres culture pottery, or classic Acoma Pueblo design. The graphic design of parallel lines, resembles the later fine line patterns of Acoma.
Like the Acoma patterns, they refer to rainfall, the blessing of the desert.
Despite the pre-historic origin of this design, it fits in beautifully with contemporary settings. Can’t go wrong with black and white!
Precisely formed and decorated, this is a striking piece.
Something (very) old is very new, again, and you can be one of the avant-garde, to add it to your pottery collection. Or, start one.