Judy and Lincoln Tafoya

Santa Clara Pueblo

Judy and Lincoln Tafoya are a third-generation husband-and-wife team producing pottery in the tradition of Christina Naranjo. They specialize in carved red and black jars and bowls, often with the Santa Clara traditional bear paw imprint.

Judy Tafoya was born in Los Angeles, Ca in January 1962, the daughter of Cecilia Naranjo and James Lee McLean. No one seems to remember when the family returned to Santa Clara but Judy said she learned to make pottery by watching and working with her mother and her grandmother, Christina Naranjo. She was also encouraged by her older sister, Sharon Naranjo Garcia.

After Judy married Lincoln Tafoya, Sharon taught him how to make pottery, too. (Marriage strictures in the pueblos ensure that potential spouses are genetically further apart than first cousins. Lincoln was from a different clan and a different Tafoya family.)

Judy and Lincoln made pottery together almost all their married lives. They produced carved redware and blackware, bowls, jars, lidded jars, water jars, storage jars, plates, seed pots, nativity sets, vases, wedding vases and a few figurines.

They submitted pieces at juried events like the Santa Fe Indian Market, Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show, the Gallup InterTribal Ceremonial, the Heard Museum Guild Indian Arts Fair and Market, the New Mexico State Fair, the Eiteljorg Museum Indian Art Market and others. She and Lincoln earned multiple ribbons at each.

Judy and Lincoln shared the work when making their pottery. Lincoln gathered and prepared the clay, Judy formed the pots. Usually she made between four and six pots in a series of shapes. Once they were dry enough, she deep carved the primary designs and then Lincoln did the low-relief carving and sgraffito work. After that, Judy polished using a stone passed down from her grandmother. They did the firing together.

Lincoln and Judy taught all their seven children how to make pottery.

Large red melon jar
Large red melon jar
9.75 in H by 11.5 in Dia

Santa Clara Pueblo Potters