San Ildefonso gunmetal bowl

Maria pots.p0526a.jpg
Maria pots.p0526a.jpg

San Ildefonso gunmetal bowl


signed Maria Poveka

(signature used between 1956-1965 by Maria Martinez)

excellent condition




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Maria Martinez is considered to be the matriarch of contemporary San Ildefonso pottery. Maria was born in 1887 and died in 1980, a lifespan that occurred during an intense period of change in San Ildefonso pottery. Maria and her husband Julian were long recognized for their artistry in clay and their innovation in design.

Working in traditional methods with traditional clay, Maria and Julian revived an earlier form of pottery that was finished in black slip (achieved through firing over an outdoor fire). They expanded this form by developing black-on-black pottery, which is still produced by potters from San Ildefonso today.

Maria was especially known for her fine formation and slipping of the pots, finishing them with hand polishing using a smooth stone or piece of gourd. The pots with the "gunmetal" finish were achieved by firing at a "perfect" temperature and in "perfect" conditions. This is extremely difficult to do with an outdoor fire and hand-prepared materials. Thus, the pots with a gunmetal finish are relatively rare.

We are very fortunate to have two Maria Martinez gunmetal pots in our current inventory: this pot and also one that has a black-on-black design. To see the other gunmetal pot, click on this link:

We also have an earlier and beautiful black on black jar by Maria and Santana (signature: Marie + Santana), made between 1943-1956. Click this link to learn more: