Tom & Sue Tapia

San Juan Pueblo/Ohkay Owingeh/Laguna

Tom and Sue Tapia were a husband and wife team of potters working at San Juan Pueblo. Sometimes they collaborated, sometimes not. Usually, though, Sue coiled, carved and polished their pieces with Tom doing the incising and firing.

Born in 1946, Tom learned to make pottery from his mother, Leonidas Cata Tapia. Beginning in 1994 he and Sue earned ribbons at events like the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair in Phoenix and the Santa Fe Indian Market. Then in 2015 Tom died.

Sue moved back home to Laguna Pueblo. I met her in 2017 and she told me she was still making a few pieces of pottery every year.

Pieces Tom and Sue made together were signed "Tom and Sue Tapia San Juan Pueblo". Pieces made by Sue since Tom's death are usually signed "Sue Tapia Laguna, N.M."

Carved geometric design and sgraffito avanyu and geometric design on a red on red jar
Red on red jar decorated with a carved geometric design and sgraffito avanyu and geometric designs
7.5 in H by 9 in Dia
Swirl rib design carved into a black micaceous on black jar
Micaceous black on black jar carved with a spiral rib design
3 in H by 3.75 in Dia
Signed: Sue Tapia
Sgraffito Yei, dancer, pueblo, feather and geometric design on a miniature black jar Miniature black jar with a sgraffito Yei, dancer, feather, pueblo and geometric design
1.75 in H by 2.25 in Dia

San Juan Pueblo Potters