Tafoya, Vangie

Vangie Tafoya was born into Jemez Pueblo (Walatowa) in August, 1944. She is half Jemez, half San Ildefonso Pueblo. The San Ildefonso side is related to Maria Martinez but Vangie learned how to make pottery the Jemez way, by watching and working with her grandmother, Maria Sanchez Colaque.

Vangie credits her grandmother with inspiring her to continue the family tradition of making pottery but she has developed her own style of freehand sgraffito designs with exquisite avanyus, flowers, hummingbirds and feathers.

Vangie seems to decorate mostly using sgraffito on seed pots, jars, wedding vases, melon bowls, pitchers, canteens and miniatures. Most of her pieces are highly polished redware.

Vangie has participated in shows like the Santa Fe Indian Market, Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show, the Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonials and the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market. She earned a Best in Show ribbon at the New Mexico State Fair in 1993 and other ribbons kept coming.

She signs her pieces: Vangie Tafoya, Jemez, followed by an eagle feather for her clan origin. Vangie taught her daughter, Helen Tafoya, how to make pottery, too.

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