Rafaelita was inspired to learn the art of working with clay from her mother, Miguelita Aguilar. Miguelita passed down the fundamentals of working with clay and using ancient methods.
Rafaelita is from Kewa/Santo Domingo Pueblo and has been creating pottery since 1953 and follows the traditional methods for creating pottery of the Aguilar family which began in the early 1900’s. Rafaelita specializes in exceptionally large pottery vessels, which are stone-polished and pit-fired. She is the aunt of Robert Aguilar.
Exhibitions: 1994, Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Arts & Crafts shows; more than 20 years exhibiting in the Santa Domingo Pueblo Arts & Craft Show.
Collections: Roger & Marilyn Peterson, Williams Bay, WI; Dr. Gregory & Angie Schaaf, Santa Fe, N.M.; Bob & Carol Berray, Santa Fe, N.M.
Publications: Southern Pueblo Pottery 2000 Artist Biographies by Dr. Gregory Schaaf; Southwestern Pottery, by Allan Hayes & John Blom; Pueblo and Navajo Contemporary Pottery and Directory of Artists by Guy Berger and Nancy Schiffer (2000).
According to Dr. Schaaf “Rafaelita may be considered a relatively undiscovered master potter. Because she rarely entered her pots at Indian art shows, her work has not won ribbons. However, the quality of her work is commendable.”