Design Elements: Carving

An avanyu and geometric design carved into a black jar Black jar carved with an avanyu and geometric design,
by Margaret Tafoya, 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 Margaret Tafoya, Santa Clara

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 Daryl Whitegeese, Santa Clara

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, Santa Clara

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 Dora Tse-Pe, San Ildefonso

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, Mata Ortiz

8 in H by 5 3/4 in Dia
Measurement includes ring