© Laura Walker

John Suazo & Mary Witkop (1948-2010)

John Suazo & Mary Witkop (1948-2010)
Taos Pueblo Sculptor and Potter Collaboration

While firing pots on the lawn of her brother’s home the Witkops made an accidental discovery. Their original technique was to get black ‘clouds’ while firing pots in the open using cow dung. When a pot was accidentally dropped onto the grass, something magical happened. If organic materials were tossed onto the pots while they were still hot, they produced unique markings. Thus began their experimentation with other materials such as horse-hair, leaves, feathers and sawdust. By 1974 most of their pots were fired using this newly discovered method. They named their new firing technique ‘Cloud Fire’. The influence of this method can be seen all over New Mexico today; many of the potters that use the technique known as Horse-Hair pottery know little of this history. (1) Women of Taos


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