Jemez Pottery has come a long way from the “tourist ware” days, and the Toya family are among the leading artists responsible for the respect it earns now. Dominique, the youngest generation of a long line of notable potters, has achieved the high honor of Best of (Pottery) Division – best of all the pottery shown – at Santa Fe Indian Market. Her signature swirl pots are beautiful contemporary versions of the traditional gourd designs.
This globular seed pot demonstrates the deep and sharply-defined carving she is known for. It is done entirely eye-to-hand, with no prior penciling or other guides! She starts at the top, digging deep with her tool, and continues all the way around, in one (careful) swoop. Then, on the next, and so on.
The pleasingly rotund form of the pot is in beautiful harmony with the carved, diagonal pattern. Notice how each swirl is peaked; these are not applied after the pot is formed, but cut into the red clay slip and individually polished with a stone. The rim of the piece clearly shows the rows of cuts.
Dominique has won so many well-deserved awards for her gorgeous pottery. Whatever the style, each piece is impeccably shaped, exquisitely finished and minimally embellished, just as her grandmothers formed their, very different, pots. Tradition is raised to a breathtaking level of design and execution in the pottery of this exceptional artist.