Robert Tenorio

Robert Tenorio
Robert Tenorio

Robert Tenorio was born in 1950 on Santo Domingo Pueblo. Early in life he was working in clay with his grandmother, Andrea Ortiz, and his great-aunt, Lupe Tenorio. After high school. he began studying art and jewelry design at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, but he also continued formal training in clay under Otellie Loloma.

When he returned to the Pueblo he no longer had access to the clays and kiln available to him in school. He almost had to learn the traditional art of potting all over again. As he learned he began collecting native clays and experimenting with the traditional firing methods of his ancestors. Robert has become known for creating pots, canteens and polychrome jars with the shape characteristics and geometric designs of the centuries old style of his Santo Domingo predecessors.

A full time potter since 1970, Robert's work reflects his reverence for his heritage. Santo Domingo has long been known for its utilitarian ware decorated with simple geometrics and birds, fish and floral patterns but never human figures as that is forbidden on pottery for sale by tribal religious leaders.

Robert signs his work: “Robert Tenorio, KEWA, N.M.”

Awards Robert has Won:

  • His first award came from the Heard Museum in 1971 and since then he has won enough ribbons to “make two quilts!” he says laughing
  • First Place at the Santa Fe Indian Market in Prehistoric Pottery, a category Robert essentially created
  • Governor's Award at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 2000
  • Two First Place Awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 2004

Where Robert's Work is Shown:

  • The Peabody Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • Nagoya Museum, Japan
  • The Royal Family of Great Britain
Traditional designs on a polychrome bowl
Polychrome bowl with traditional designs inside and out
3 3/4 in H by 8 in Dia
Traditional designs inside and out on a square polychrome bowl
Square polychrome bowl with corn and geometric design inside and geometric design outside
4 1/2 in H by 9 1/4 in Dia
Fish and other traditional designs on a polychrome bowl
Polychrome bowl with fish and other traditional designs inside and out
3 1/2 in H by 8 in Dia
Traditional birds and other designs on a polychrome plate
Polychrome plate with traditional birds and other designs
 
Black and white jar
Black and white jar with traditional geometric designs
8 in H by 11 1/4 in Dia
Traditional designs on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar with traditional designs
 
Polychrome bird effigy
Polychrome bird effigy
4 1/4 in H by 8 3/4 in Dia
Geometric designs on a large polychrome seedpot
Large polychrome seedpot with geometric designs
11 3/4 in H by 17 3/4 in Dia
Bird and geometric designs on a black on red jar
Black on redware with bird and geometric designs
5 1/4 in h by 6 1/2 in Dia
Bird and geometric design on a lidded polychrome jar
Lidded polychrome jar with bird and geometric design
13 in H by 11 in Dia
Bird and floral design on a polychrome pitcher
Polychrome pitcher with bird and floral design
7 3/4 in H by 6 3/4 in Dia
Feather and geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar with feather and geometric design
5 1/4 in H by 6 1/2 in Dia
Bird effigy polychrome bowl
Polychrome bird effigy bowl
5 3/4 in H by 9 in Dia
Train design inside and out on a polycrome bowl
Polychrome bowl with train design inside and out
6 1/4 in H by 11 1/2 in Dia
Fish and geometric design on a polychrome bowl
Polychrome bowl with fish and geometric design
3 3/4 in H by 8 in Dia
Black and white geometric design on a polychrome olla
Polychrome olla with a black and white geometric design
10 1/4 in H by 13 in Dia
Black and white geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar with a black and white geometric design
8 in H by 11 in Dia
Geometric design on a polychrome storage jar
Polychrome storage jar decorated with geometric design
16 in H by 19 3/4 in Dia
1987 Blue Ribbon, Santa Fe Indian Market
Fish and geometric design inside a polychrome bowl
Large polychrome bowl with fish and geometric design inside
4 1/4 in h by 11 1/4 in Dia
Bird design inside a polychrome bowl
Polychrome bowl with bird design inside
3 1/4 in H by 7 3/4 in Dia
Geometric design on a lidded polychrome jar
Lidded polychrome jar decorated with a geometric design
15 in H by 15 in Dia
Antelope and geometric design inside a polychrome bowl
Polychrome bowl decorated inside with an antelope and geometric design
3 3/4 in H by 8 in Dia
Fish and turtle design inside, geometric design outside on a polychrome bowl
Polychrome bowl decorated with a fish and turtle design inside and geometric design outside
5 1/4 in H by 12 in Dia
Bird and floral design on a polychrome double canteen
Polychrome double canteen decorated with a bird and floral design
7 1/4 in H by 15 in Dia
Pottery photos courtesy of Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery