b. 1969

New Mexico, Santa Clara Pueblo, Native American Pottery

Tammy Garcia is known for her large and elaborate pots carved with complex, extensive and original decoration.

A member of the well-known Tafoya family of potters from Santa Clara Pueblo, she continues her family’s tradition of pottery. Though Garcia grew up working with clay she left home to attend cosmetology school using the money she made selling pots to pay her way. When her money ran out she took a job in an art gallery in Taos and it was there that she decided to return to her artwork.

She is one of the contemporary Native Americans changing perceptions of pottery from craft to fine art. She has expanded the traditional Santa Clara style from a band of designs around the middle of the pot to covering entire surfaces with elaborately carved images. She gathers the clay and volcanic ash from the hills around Santa Clara Pueblo and mixes them together with her bare feet.

Tammy Garcia has expanded into creating her sculptures in bronze and working with glass artist, Preston Singletary, to create glass pots. She has also added metal jewelry to her portfolio.

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