Barbara Gonzales

Barbara Gonzales (Tahn Moo Whe - Sunbeam) was born in 1947. She was the daughter of Anita Martinez and eldest granddaughter of Adam and Santana Martinez, eldest great-granddaughter of Maria Martinez. Her sister is Kathy Sanchez, her son Cavan Gonzales.

Barbara grew up learning to make pottery with her family during the development of San Ildefonso blackware. However, she is known for intricately carved red, sienna, black and polychrome bowls and seed pots, sometimes with inlaid coral and turquoise but always with the "good luck spider" motif which she began developing in 1973.

In her words: "Whenever an Indian gets involved with art, they do it with their whole being - that's what makes the art unique." The sgraffito spider and spiderweb work she does have become her trademark.

Barbara signs most of her pieces "Tahn Moo Whe" but I have seen some signed "Sunbeam."

Sgraffito floral design with inlaid turquoise and coral on a red plate
Red plate with sgraffito floral design and inlaid turquoise and coral
2 1/4 in H by 10 3/4 in Dia
Sgraffito medallion and geometric design on a polished black jar with sienna spots and inlaid coral and turquoise
Polished black jar with sienna spots, sgraffito medallion and geometric design and inlaid coral and turquoise
4 1/2 in H by 5 1/2 in Dia
Sgraffito avanyu, spider web and geometric designs plus inlaid coral and turquoise on a black seedpot with sienna spots
Black seedpot with sienna spots decorated with sgraffito spider web, avanyu and geometric designs plus inlaid coral and turquoise
1 3/4 in H by 2 3/4 in Dia
Inlaid stones and a feather and spider design on a black jar
Black jar with inlaid stones and sgraffito feather and spider designs
6 in H by 5 3/4 in Dia
Sgraffito spider design and inlaid stones on a black jar with a sienna rim
Sienna rim on a black jar decorated with sgraffito spider design and inlaid stones
1 1/4 in H by 2 3/4 in Dia
Sgraffito feather and avanyu design on a black jar with sienna spots and inlaid stones
Black jar with sienna spots and inlaid stones decorated with a sgraffito feather and avanyu design
2 1/2 in H by 4 in Dia

San Ildefonso Pueblo Potters