© Laura Walker

Grace Medicine Flower

Grace Medicine Flower (1938- )

Grace Medicine Flower is a living artist from the Santa Clara Pueblo. She learned her basic pottery technique from her father, Camilio “Sunflower” Tafoya while she was still a young woman. Grace has continued to produce exquisite incised miniatures of bowls, vases, and wedding vases for over 30 years. Currently she exhibits in the finest art galleries in Santa Fe, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, and other major art cities.

Grace’s contributions to the art of Pueblo pottery have been the artistic precision of her traditional designs depicting the culture and symbolism of all Indians of the Southwest. She started producing her intricate designs on black-fired pottery, but she really achieved her finest when she switched to the sienna-colored miniatures.

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Grace Medicine Flower’s response about her work:

“I did sgraffito only in the seventies, and now I’m combining deep carving and sgraffito. I am also doing bigger pots. I’m doing ‘cut-outs’ or ‘sculptured rims’–I don’t have a name for it. i did some work with my dad when I broke my wrist.” “You gotta change someways–the change has to be. There are young ones with ideas and you have to look. Even traditional work is ok for going off and doing new things. It makes the art exciting. The traditional designs are kept, but you can express in the way you design. If every so many years you can come up with new ideas, its exciting to show them. Some galleries help artists do better by pushing their work. You can repeat designs, but it’s never the same. I still enjoy it.”

Excerpt from: “Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery” by Rick Dillingham, p.208, Published by University of New Mexico Press (Albuquerque), 1994.

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