Turtle Jemez Pueblo Pottery Storyteller by Tim Tosa

Colorful Jemez Pueblo Storyteller by artist Tim Tosa is beautifully decorated with girls and boys and even a little baby. A very interesting and unique addition to any collection sure to be a conversation piece. Dimensions: 4.5" tall x 5.5" x 7" Condition: Excellent

Hi, This is Jennifer with City Farmhouse Antiques and I am here with the find of the week.  This week I have a great new find that is native to New Mexico I want to show you.  These are what we call “storytellers”.  These pieces have their background in New Mexico and are unique to our state. Of course figures and effigies have always been made of clay since ancient times, but in 1964, Helen Cordero was actually the first woman to make what we call storyteller pottery.  All these pieces tell their own story.  As you can see they come in all different types. Most of them are surrounded by children. I love Helen’s story and the history of this pottery. Helen Cordero had already raised all of her children and was trying to make some money on the side by working with her cousin, Juanita, doing leather and beadwork.  Someone in the family asked Juanita why they were doing all the beadwork and having to put a lot of their profits back into buying more materials when they could be making pottery where everything was provided by Mother Earth and as the story goes they began making pottery. Juanita had learned to make pottery as a child and was trying to teach Helen.  Helen at the age of 45 had never learned how to make pottery and was becoming more and more frustrated after six months of trying and still having a terrible time.  Her bowls were coming out crooked and she was ready to quit.  I like this story because I think we have all been there. Helen decided to try something new and started making pottery figures in the shape of people. She started taking her items to the fair and people were purchasing them.  A gentleman had asked her to make more, specifically one with a man. In 1964 she made her first storyteller portraying her grandfather on the pueblo surrounded by all of his grandchildren including her listening to his stories and their popularity grew. There are as many as 300 potters in over 13 pueblos that now make storyteller pieces. These pieces don’t happen to be Helen Cordero’s pieces and are actually made by other artists. The actual first piece that Helen made is now part of the Alexander Gerard Collection in the Museum of International Folk art in Santa Fe today. This is a great opportunity to make a plug for the state of New Mexico. If you haven’t been to New Mexico it should definitely be on your bucket list.  New Mexico has been near and dear to my heart because I have called it home almost all my life. Everything from our International Balloon Fiesta in the fall to visiting the pueblos, where you must have an Indian taco when you go! They are incredible! Our Mexican food, our culture, our chile, it is a very unique state and pottery and art are very near and dear to people here as well. In looking closer at these pieces you can see the detail and just how many people are on each piece. This one has quite a few children to even include the pets.  I have been wanting to do a video on these pieces and have not had a chance, but this piece was just sold and is headed to California so it was now or never.  Such a beautiful piece and very unique.  Here is a little bowl with these cute little girls with ribbons in their hair. This is another piece with a turtle effigy that all these little children are sleeping on.  You can see how detailed and intricate each piece is. This little one has his football, this one has his watermelon, and this one is holding her baby brother.  Storytellers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, each intricate and unique. They make nice additions to southwest pottery collections for home décor or collecting purposes as well as great conversation pieces. With that, check out our website at www.cityfarmhouseantiques.com where we have more than just antiques and be sure to come like us on Facebook.

Collections: Art Pottery

Type: Unknown Type

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