Tammy Garcia

Santa Clara Pueblo

Tammy Garcia
Tammy Garcia on the cover of
Native Peoples Magazine, 2008

Tammy Garcia is a member of Santa Clara Pueblo but was born in Los Angeles, CA in August 1969. She presently lives in Taos, NM.

Her great-great-great-grandmother was Serafina Tafoya, her great-great-grandmother Christina Naranjo, her great-great-aunt Margaret Tafoya. Between Tammy and them are several generations of potters, through Tammy's grandmother Mary Cain, her mother Linda Cain and sister Autumn Borts.

Tammy learned the basics of the traditional way of making pottery as she grew up and earned her first ribbon at the Gallup InterTribal Ceremonies in 1990. In 1999 she branched out into making bronzes and is now known for both her pottery and her bronze sculptures.

Tammy makes less than 10 pieces in a year these days. It's a labor-intensive process that takes time to be done right. It can't be hurried. Because of that, she never replicates a pot or a design. The Clay Mother asks different things of her every time she puts her hands to fresh clay.

Her designs tell stories of Pueblo life with insects and animals, carved both traditionally and stylized contemporary. She was recently the subject of a one-woman exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She has also earned multiple awards for her pottery at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum Guild Indian Art Fair & Market.

Bird and geometric design carved into a polished red jar
Polished red jar carved with bird and geometric design
10 in H by 10 in Dia
Geometric design carved into a red canteen
Red canteen carved with geometric design
6.75 in H by 8 in Dia
Geometric design carved into a black bowl
Black bowl carved with a geometric design
3.5 in H by 7 in Dia
Double shoulders on a black water jar
Black water jar with double shoulders
7.5 in H by 7 in Dia
Signed Tammy Bortz
Geometric maiden design carved into a red seed pot
Red seed pot lightly carved with a maiden and geometric design
5.25 in H by 6.25 in Dia
Photo of Tammy Garcia courtesy of

Santa Clara Pueblo Potters