Carving

An avanyu and geometric design carved into a black jar
Black jar carved with an avanyu and geometric design, by Margaret Tafoya of Santa Clara
6 1/4 in H by 11 1/4 in Dia
Geometric design carved into a red jar
Red jar carved with a stylized avanyu design, by Santa Clara potter Margaret Tafoya
6 1/2 in H by 5 3/4 in Dia
An avanyu design carved into the outside of a black oval bowl
Oval black bowl carved with an avanyu design, by Santa Clara potter Daryl Whitegeese
4 1/4 in h by 11 in Dia
A geometric design carved into a red bowl
Red bowl carved with a four direction geometric design, by Effie Garcia of Santa Clara Pueblo
2 1/2 in H by 5 in Dia

Carving is primarily used for decorating pots by potters from Santa Clara Pueblo, although it has also been seen on pottery from Acoma, San Ildefonso, Mata Ortiz, Laguna and Hopi. Some contemporary pottery also uses "light carving" as a term to distinguish between the deep carving used on thick body pieces and the sgraffito (etching, scratching) often used on thinner body pieces.

Margaret Tafoya, the pottery matriarch of Santa Clara, is most famous for her carved pieces but many of her descendants have carried on in that tradition and become award-winning potters in their own right.

Lightly carved avanyu design with inlaid turquoise on a black jar with a sienna rim and partially slipped with micaceous clay
Lightly carved avanyu design on a black jar with a sienna rim, by San Ildefonso potter Dora Tse-Pe
8 1/2 in H by 9 1/4 in Dia
Geometric design lightly carved into and painted on a polychrome jar
Lightly carved geometric design on a polychrome jar, by Octavio Silveira of Mata Ortiz
8 in H by 5 3/4 in Dia
Measurement includes ring
Pottery photos courtesy of Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery