Who was Maria Martinez and Where did the Master Potter come from?

Maria Martinez (c. 1887-1980) was a potter from San Ildefonso Pueblo.

As a girl, she learned from her aunt how to make clay pottery just as her ancestors had. But Martinez, with her husband, Julian, developed a new way of decorating Pueblo pots.

To harden a finished pot, the Pueblo potters fired it by placing it in a bed of hot coals.

who was maria martinez and where did the master potter come from

The Martinezes found that if they placed animal dung on the coals, they could raise a huge cloud of smoke that would blacken a pot’s surface. They also discovered that if before firing they painted designs on a pot using a mixture of clay and water, the painted areas would take on a shiny sheen.

Using this technique, Martinez was able to create black pots subtly decorated with glossy black patterns. Her unique “black-on-black” pottery style made Maria Martinez famous throughout the world.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.