Denise Chavarria


  • Renowned Potter from Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Hand-coils pottery with hand-gathered clay
  • Featured in several books
  • Santa Fe Indian Market 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Place

Denise Chavarria of Santa Clara pueblo began working with clay at age 16, inspired by her mother, Stella Chavarria, and her late grandmother, Teresita Naranjo. These matriarchs taught her all the fundamentals of working with clay, and encouraged her to continue the family tradition, perpetuating the legacy of pottery-making.

Along with her sister Loretta “Sunday” Chavarria, Denise gathers clay from the hills close to home within Santa Clara Pueblo. She then cleans the clay, mixes it with white ash, and allows it to set for about a day. Denise uses the traditional hand-coiling method to form the body, then designs and carves the pieces. After they’ve dried completely, she sands, polishes, and fires the finished pieces outdoors, using either horse dung to achieve the striking black-on-black effect, or an open fire for red pots.

Denise and her pottery have also been featured in such books as Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery, Southwestern Indian Pottery Anasazi* to Zuni, and Santa Clara Portraits: A Proud Tradition.

 

*In pursuit of accuracy and respect, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and Shumakolowa Native Arts are dedicated to changing all mentions of Anasazi to Ancestral Pueblo or Ancestral Puebloan, and helping to educate others on the reason the term is no longer acceptable. It will only appear on our sites when part of a product or other official name, and in those cases a link to this information will be included.

Artwork By Denise Chavarria

Denise Chavarria Pueblo Pottery Mug
Denise Chavarria Pueblo Pottery Mug - Shumakolowa Native Arts
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Denise Chavarria Pueblo Pottery Ceramic Travel Mug
Denise Chavarria Pueblo Pottery Ceramic Travel Mug - Shumakolowa Native Arts
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Denise Chavarria Pueblo Morning Gift Set
Denise Chavarria Pueblo Morning Gift Set - Shumakolowa Native Arts
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