Micaceous Clay Pottery

Of the 2,500 types of Southwestern pottery identified by archaeologists virtually all are Native American. It is also clear that the development of pottery in Hispanic villages of New Mexico has been prevalent for centuries and that cross cultural borrowing took place with the indigenous population.Utilitarian micaceous pottery was first exhibited at Spanish Market in 1992. This pottery is hand formed by the coil method using material gathered from ancient micaceous clay pits in northern New Mexico. [pictured: micaceous clay pot by Debbie Carrillo]

After thorough drying, the vessels are buffed with sandstone, painstakingly burnished with a smooth stone, then fired outdoors over wood. The fine black lines result from the artisan’s careful application of horsehair to the smoldering vessel. Gray or black “Fireclouds” are produced when burning embers fall against the pottery. This ware can be used for cooking and serving food or purely for decoration.