Atencio, Ambrose

Santo Domingo Pueblo potter Ambrose Atencio

Ambrose Atencio was born to Joseph Ray Atencio and Juanita Atencio of Santo Domingo Pueblo in June, 1963. He told us he learned the traditional method of making pottery from his cousin, Robert Tenorio (and his family), starting around the time Ambrose was 13 years old. The years since then Ambrose has spent perfecting his technique. His progression is reflected in the perfect shape of his pots and in his exquisite execution of the traditional Santo Domingo designs that he chooses to use.

He collects the basic materials to make his pottery on the lands of Santo Domingo Pueblo. When his pieces are finished and ready, Ambrose ground fires his work using cottonwood bark, like his grandmother, Crucita Tortalita (Robert Tenorio’s maternal aunt), used to do. He’s also taught his son Elroy to work with clay in the traditional way.

Ambrose has earned multiple awards at venues such as the Indian Arts Northwest Market in Portland, Oregon, the Fountain Hills Indian Market in Fountain Hills, Arizona, the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Arts & Crafts Show in Espanola, New Mexico, the Dallas Indian Arts and Crafts Fair in Dallas, Texas, the Santa Fe Indian Market (where he’s taken home ribbons for Best of Class, Best of Category and others), and the Heard Museum Guild Indian Art Fair & Market in Phoenix (where he’s earned several ribbons).

Ambrose tells us his favorite shapes to make are storage jars and large dough bowls. He also really enjoys decorating them with traditional Santo Domingo birds, plants, animals and geometric designs. Like many Native American traditional potters, he says his inspiration comes from above, through the clay.

When he’s not busy making new pots Ambrose says he enjoys hiking. On special occasions he enjoys music concerts, a favorite one having been a Fleetwood Mac concert on his birthday.

He signs his work: “Ambrose Atencio KEWA” and adds the date the pot was created.

Some of the Awards Ambrose has earned

  • 2004 Santa Fe Indian Market, Class. II – Pottery, Div. E – Traditional pottery, jars, including wedding jars, Cat. 1204 – Jars, Santo Domingo or Cochiti, Third Place;
    – Div. F – Traditional pottery, painted designs on matte or semi-matte surface, all forms except jars, Cat. 1302 – Other bowl forms, Second Place
  • 2001 Santa Fe Indian Market, Class. II – Pottery, Div. E – Traditional pottery jars, Cat. 1204 – Jars, Santo Domingo or Cochiti, First & Second Place

Showing all 2 results

Showing all 2 results