Maria Martinez Legacy

10" dia. Black-on-Black Bowl by Marie & Julian, ca. 1920

10″ dia. Black-on-Black Bowl by Marie & Julian, ca. 1920

In the early twentieth century, San Ildefonso Potter Maria Martinez & her artist husband Julian, rediscovered the lost process of making black pottery and soon thereafter, black-on-black pottery. Maria & Julian could not make pieces fast enough to satisfy the demand that came for the beautiful works. What followed was a lifetime of skilled work, gracefully undertaken by the highly skilled duo & taught to their family & fellow community members for the benefit of all. Recognition & accolades became common throughout their lives in the years following & it continued late into the century, still garnering massive respect today, over one-hundred years later, for the black pottery they made known again & which so many have come to admire. Maria passed on in the summer of 1980, but had long since ensured the techniques & knowledge her & Julian came to master would remain intact through their descendents & students. Maria’s Legacy continued directly in the work of Adam & Santana, her son & daughter-in-law. They were known for their traditional black-on-black pottery with well-formed shapes, careful finishes and skillful designing techniques. This perfection reflects in Santana’s talent designing bowls for Maria from Julian’s passing in 1943 up until Maria’s passing in 1980. Santana and Adam continued to make pottery together into their nineties.

10" dia. Black-on-Black Bowl by Marie & Santana, ca. 1943

10″ dia. Black-on-Black Bowl by Marie & Santana, ca. 1943