Minnie Vigil Pueblo Pottery Seed Pot - Santa Clara
- Vintage item
Santa Clara Pueblo potter Minnie Vigil began making pottery in 1955 that is distinctively hers and easily recognizable. Minnie's mother, Petra Montoya Gutierrez, an accomplished potter, taught Minnie her potting skills, Her pieces are illustrated in almost every book that includes Santa Clara pottery. In addition to many awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market, her pottery has been featured in several major exhibitions at prominent galleries. Born in 1931, Minnie at 90 years old is no longer actively potting.
In the 1984 book 'American Indian Pottery' by John W. Barry, the author describes Minnie Vigil as "...a prolific potter always willing to share her enthusiasm with visitors. Her variety of styles is equaled only by her level of production. Minnie is best known for her polychromes...most of her pots show...a preference for jar and seed bowl shapes. She experiments constantly with new styles and colors." At a pueblo that produced more pottery than any other, Minnie Vigil set many new trends.
Minnie used a stone polish finish on this small redware pot (aka seed jar or seed bowl). On one side, the stepped designs are incised and slip painted with a matte finish in buff, tan and brown. While many pueblo potters outline their designs in white or buff, Minnie chose to use black, including those on the other side, which are completely matte black, as is the band of triangles around the mouth of the jar. Her iconic signature "Minnie Santa Clara" in black is on the bottom, slightly worn but very readable.
The jar measures 3 1/4 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches tall and weighs just over 6 ounces. It's in excellent condition, with very minor wear to the slip that is magnified by our close-up photographs. There are no chips, cracks or repairs. Potters began making miniature jars like this one in the 1970's; we're classifying this beautiful one as dating from the 1980's. It's a handsome piece of polychrome pottery by a noted, extremely talented Santa Clara potter.