© Laura Walker

Margaret & Luther Gutierrez

One of the most productive and fantastic pair of potters was the sister and brother team of Margaret and Luther Gutierrez, children of famed Santa Clara potters Lela and Van. Lela and Van created the “polychrome” slip coloration for their pottery, a distinctive variation from the traditional black pottery of Santa Clara. Only a few pieces of the works by Lela and Van remain in existence.

Margaret & Luther achieved great recognition in the 1960s and 1970s for their polychrome creations of wedding vases, ollas, storage jars, owls, turtles, and a collection of animal figures. These works of art ranged in size from 1″ in diameter to 12″ tall. The polychrome slip designs were a pleasant cross between realism and imagination, between traditional and caricature.

Luther died in 19xx, which left Margaret (b.1936) without her expert slip artist for sometime. One of the lasting consequences of this event was that Margaret switched from making her larger pieces to primarily smaller pieces to which she herself could apply the polychrome slip designs. Margaret still exhibits her animal figures at the Santa Fe Indian Market.


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