A Shumakolowa Native Arts exclusive! This unique café-style ceramic mug is a replica of a single beautiful clay pot handcrafted by Helen Bird of Santo Domingo Pueblo. Helen has incorporated a traditional Pueblo bird and flower design throughout the pottery.
Helen was inspired by pots that were excavated from Bandelier National Park. When people ask Helen if the bird design is a quail or something else, Helen responds, smiling: “It’s a Helen bird, I tell them.”
- Collectible tall café style mug
- Based on original by artist Helen Bird (Santo Domingo Pueblo)
- Cup measurements: 6" H x 4-1/2" L x 3-1/4" W
- 16 oz
- This Item is Not Dishwasher or Microwave safe
The mugs are designed by Pueblo artists from New Mexico, and printed in the USA on imported ceramics.
About the Artist
Helen Bird is a renowned Santo Domingo potter who makes elegant vessels in the traditional Santo Domingo style. She was introduced to the art when she was 12 years old by her great-aunt, who brought her along to gather clay from a special hill in their village. Helen has been making pottery professionally since 1991, following a career as an alcohol and substance abuse counselor.
The most celebrated and recognized art form of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico is pottery. Pueblo pottery is known around the world for its remarkable beauty and craftsmanship. It has been made in much the same way for over a thousand years, with every step of creation completed by hand.
Pueblo potters do not use a wheel, but construct pots using the traditional horizontal coil method, or freely forming the shape. After the pot is formed, the artist polishes the piece with a natural polishing stone, such as a river stone, then paints it with a vegetal, mineral, or commercial slip. Finally, the pot is fired in an outdoor fire or kiln using manure or wood as fuel.
Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Jemez, and Acoma Pueblos have distinctive pottery styles that are especially prized by collectors, but accomplished potters are working in all Pueblos.
Today, Pueblo pottery is an exciting and dynamic form, with many artists pairing traditional techniques with innovative and stylized designs. Those potters who continue to create pots using traditional methods possess an extraordinary level of skill, and their pots are highly valuable works of fine art that will be enjoyed for generations to come.Read our Native American Pottery Collector's Guide.