Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Visit with Artisan Potter Ruby Toya

Lizard Motif Vase by Lawrence & Ruby Toya
After attending a ceremonial at the Santa Ana Pueblo today, Sandy and I briefly visited the Zia Pueblo then drove on to the Jemez Pueblo in a hunger fueled quest for Native American traditional food stuffs from one of their roadside park vendor stands.  Our red chile stew and fry bread feast was definitely a great experience, but the highlight of our day was meeting up with Ruby Toya outside the Jemez Pueblo Walatowa Visitor Center.   She told us how she prefers to sell at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe and then she explained that if the number of qualified Native American artisans exceed 80,  spaces are awarded on the basis of a lottery draw before 8:00 am.   A lost lottery in her case means a 75 mile turnaround trip home.    Lawrence & Ruby are a husband wife team.  Their excellence pottery qualifies them as vendors to sell at the renowned historic portal of the Palace of the Governors in part by meeting the criteria detailed in Section 12 of the Palace Rules and Regulations:

Section 12. Pottery  
A. All pottery shall be handmade of earth clay from sources on the participant's reservation, and fired using traditional materials. Clay sources other than the participant's reservation may be approved in writing from the Director of the Palace of the Governors.
B. All pottery shall be engraved before firing.
C. All pottery may be hand painted in natural mineral paints, poster paint colors, or bright acrylic color paints.
D. The use of commercial protective sealants on pottery is allowed.