Fish Bowl Hand Made Pottery by Santo Domingo Artist Thomas Tenorio. 17-1/2″ in diameter
History of the Spirit Line
Around 1900, the “spirit line” became a popular element for many traditional Navajo weavers.
This occurred because traders requested weavers to place borders around their weavings. By this time, most weavers were selling their weavings through the trading post system.
The traditional weaver became very concerned about trapping their creative spirit within the weaving and not being able to weave in the future.
The “spirit line” is a small strand of yarn of contrasting color that flows from the inner design element of the weaving to the outer edge. The custom continues today in many contemporary Navajo rugs.
We see the same element in Native American pottery.
Santo Domingo Kewa Artist: Thomas Tenorio
Thomas Tenorio was given the Indian name of “U-Nah-Thee-Wah” when he was born into the Santo Domingo Pueblo in 1963. Thomas has been making pottery for over ten years. He felt that the ancient traditional methods of pottery making was dying within his pueblo so he was inspired to try and resurrect the long lived legacy. Thomas taught himself to make traditional pottery by reading textbooks, conducting one on one interviews with other pottery makers, research and trial and error. He now teaches classes on pottery making so anyone wanting to learn the art of working with clay can do so and carry on the tradition. Thomas has invented his own unique contemporary style. He adds contemporary flare of cut-outs and new colors to the traditional Santo Domingo style. He makes a wide variety of shapes and sizes and paints birds and traditional designs with natural pigments found within his pueblo.
He signs his pottery: Thomas Tenorio, Santo Domingo Pueblo.
Awards Thomas has Won:
- Heard Museum Show, First Place Traditional Painted pottery – 2007, 2012
- Santa Fe Indian Market, First and Second Place Traditional Painted Pottery – 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015