Jody Folwell

Santa Clara


Jody Folwell was born into Santa Clara Pueblo in August, 1942. Her mother was Rose Naranjo, a highly respected Santa Clara potter. Jody and her siblings, Dolly Naranjo, Nora Naranjo, Tito Naranjo, and Rina Swentzell, grew up learning from some of the best traditional potters Santa Clara had to offer. She balances that traditional learning with studies in history and political science at the University of New Mexico, finishing with both a BA and an MA. She became an educator and lecturer from the early 1960s through the mid 1970s. It was in 1974 that Jody began making pottery full time.

Early in her career Jody moved away from traditional Santa Clara blackware and redware to create buffware with new forms, styles and colors. She does engraving, incising, carving, cut-outs and painting. Her pottery usually has a political or social message to it, whether that message be about women's rights, children's dreams or whimsical pop art.

In 1987 Jody was chosen as a top contemporary Indian artist by the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles for their major exhibit "Eight Indian Artists II." Among the other artists in the exhibit were Apache sculptor Bob Haozous, Winnebago potter Jacquie Stevens and Navajo painter Clifford Beck, and others. The experience led to years of collaboration with Bob Haozous, son of Apache sculptor Alan Houser.

Some of the awards Jody has earned over the years:

  • 1975 - 1st place, Most Creative Design in Any Classification, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • 1978 - 1st place, sienna and black vase, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • 1979 - 1st place, Heard Museum Guild Show, Phoenix
  • 1979 - 2nd place, Black bowl with butterflies, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • 1979 - 2nd place, reclining figure, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • 1981 - Best of Class, Best of Division, 1st place, non-traditional, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • 1983 - 1st place, non-traditional, new forms, innovations, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • 1984 - Best of Division, non-traditional, new forms, innovations, hero pot, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • 1984 - 1st place, jars and vases, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • 1985 - Best of Show, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • 1988 - 2nd place, miscellaneous, Santa Fe Indian Market
  • 1993 - 3rd place, non-traditional, sgraffito, w/o stones, any color except black, Santa Fe Indian Market

Jody learned the traditional craft from her mother Rose and she passed that teaching on to her daughters, Polly Rose Folwell and Susan Folwell.

100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - - All Rights Reserved


Santa Clara Pueblo

The Puye Cliff Ruins
Ruins at Puye Cliffs, Santa Clara Pueblo

Santa Clara Pueblo straddles the Rio Grande about 25 miles north of Santa Fe. Of all the pueblos, Santa Clara has the largest number of potters.

The ancestral roots of the Santa Clara people have been traced to the pueblos in the Mesa Verde region in southwestern Colorado. When that area began to get dry between about 1100 and 1300, some of the people migrated to the Chama River Valley and constructed Poshuouinge (about 3 miles south of what is now Abiquiu on the edge of the mesa above the Chama River). Eventually reaching two and three stories high with up to 700 rooms on the ground floor, Poshuouinge was inhabited from about 1375 to about 1475. Drought then again forced the people to move, some of them going to the area of Puye (on the eastern slopes of the Pajarito Plateau of the Jemez Mountains) and others to Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo, along the Rio Grande). Beginning around 1580, drought forced the residents of the Puye area to relocate closer to the Rio Grande and they founded what we now know as Santa Clara Pueblo on the west bank of the river, between San Juan and San Ildefonso Pueblos.

In 1598 Spanish colonists from nearby Yunque (the seat of Spanish government near San Juan Pueblo) brought the first missionaries to Santa Clara. That led to the first mission church being built around 1622. However, the Santa Clarans chafed under the weight of Spanish rule like the other pueblos did and were in the forefront of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. One pueblo resident, a mixed black and Tewa man named Domingo Naranjo, was one of the rebellion's ringleaders. When Don Diego de Vargas came back to the area in 1694, he found most of the Santa Clarans on top of nearby Black Mesa (with the people of San Ildefonso). An extended siege didn't subdue them so eventually, the two sides negotiated a treaty and the people returned to their pueblo. However, successive invasions and occupations by northern Europeans took their toll on the tribe over the next 250 years. The Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 almost wiped them out.

Today, Santa Clara Pueblo is home to as many as 2,600 people and they comprise probably the largest per capita number of artists of any North American tribe (estimates of the number of potters run as high as 1-in-4 residents).

Today's pottery from Santa Clara is typically either black or red. It is usually highly polished and designs might be deeply carved or etched ("sgraffito") into the pot's surface. The water serpent, ("avanyu"), is a traditional design motif of Santa Clara pottery. Another motif comes from the legend that a bear helped the people find water during a drought. The bear paw has appeared on their pottery ever since.

One of the reasons for the distinction this pueblo has received is because of the evolving artistry the potters have brought to the craft. Not only did this pueblo produce excellent black and redware, several notable innovations helped move pottery from the realm of utilitarian vessels into the domain of art. Different styles of polychrome redware emerged in the 1920's-1930's. In the early 1960's experiments with stone inlay, incising and double firing began. Modern potters have also extended the tradition with unusual shapes, slips and designs, illustrating what one Santa Clara potter said: "At Santa Clara, being non-traditional is the tradition." (This refers strictly to artistic expression; the method of creating pottery remains traditional).

Santa Clara Pueblo is home to a number of famous pottery families: Tafoya, Baca, Gutierrez, Naranjo, Suazo, Chavarria, Garcia, Vigil, Tapia - to name a few.

Harvest, Santa Clara Pueblo c. 1912

Courtesy Museum of New Mexico Neg. No. 4128

Santa Clara Pueblo c. 1920

Courtesy Museum of New Mexico Neg. No. 4214

Map showing the location of Santa Clara Pueblo
For more info:
at Wikipedia
Pueblos of the Rio Grande, Daniel Gibson, ISBN-13:978-1-887896-26-9, Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2001
Upper photo courtesy of Einar Kvaran, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License

100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - - All Rights Reserved

LargeblackjarwithasiennaspotandasgraffitoPacificNorthwest-stylefishdesign, Click or tap to see a larger version
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Jody Folwell, Santa_Clara, LargeblackjarwithasiennaspotandasgraffitoPacificNorthwest-stylefishdesign
Jody Folwell
Santa Clara
$ 5500
Large black jar with a sienna spot and a sgraffito Pacific Northwest-style fish design
13.75 in L by 13.75 in W by 10.75 in H
Condition: Very good
Signature: None - Attributed to Jody Folwell

100 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 986-1234 - - All Rights Reserved