Clarence Cruz

San Juan Pueblo/Ohkay Owingeh

As a faculty member of the Ceramics Department at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Clarence Cruz taught ceramics for 14 years before returning to his roots at Ohkay Owingeh. He is also a graduate of the UNM program.

Clarence told me he makes Potsuwi'i pottery but he never has any for the marketplace: his fans buy it before he finishes making it. But he also makes utilitarian pottery: pots, jars, beean pots, frying pans, utensils, etc. All in gleaming golden micaceous clay. He recommends using them to cook with.

Robert Vigil once told me of going clay hunting with Clarence. Robert uses a micaceous slip on his pottery and that requires a different clay than utilitarian pottery that is made entirely of micaceous clay. So while Robert was hunting clay with a lesser amount of mica that would be softer and easier to work with, he said "Clarence kept heading for the hard rock, the hardest clay of all to work with. And then he turned it into beautiful pottery you could cook with."

A golden micacous utilitarian pot
A utilitarian golden micacous pot
10.25 in L by 10.25 in W by 6.75 in H
A golden micaceous bowl
A golden micaceous utilitarian bowl
7.5 in Dia by 4.25 in H
Micaceous utilitarian bowl
A utilitarian golden micaceous bowl
8 in Dia by 4.5 in H
A bolden micaceous bowl with a handprint in the bottom and a sgraffito pueblo dancer and geometric design in a band just below the inner rim
A handprint and a band of sgraffito pueblo dancers and geometric design decorate the interior of this golden micaceous serving bowl
18.5 in Dia by 5.5 in H

San Juan Pueblo Potters