|Karen specializes in micaceous clay pottery
which is indigenous to Taos and Picuris Pueblo. Her work is traditionally
made, handcoiled and pit-fired.
Karen's familial roots run deep in Taos County, where family members have farmed for generations. Of Spanish and Indian descent, Karen born in Van Nuys, California returned to northern New Mexico thirty years ago and now lives in Llano San Juan overlooking the Penasco Valley.
It can take from two weeks to three months for each piece to be completed. the clay in it's natural enviorment is dry like any dirt, but the experienced clay gatherer knows it right away. The clay is soaked and strained before it is ready to work. Then it is coiled into shape.
Pots are fired in an open fire pit with a grate. Then dry bark is built into a teepee formation around the pots, which ignites from beneath and is let burn. After two hours the pots are left to sit for another hour and then they are done.
For a black finish the same clay and procedure is used with the addition of manure (which burns very slowly) on top of the teepee.
To purchase or receive more information:
Karen is member of La Jicarita Community Arts Marketing
Project and is a featured artist at http://www.highroadnewmexico.com
She has received Computer and Internet training through La Plaza Telecommunity's
Open Studio Project.