Life And Career Of Maria Martinez Essay

Maria Martinez

The paper is based on the Native American artist Maria Martinez. She was born in 1887 in Ildefonso Pueblo – New Mexico. She is known internationally for his artist in pottery. Her skills of pottery were learned from her aunt. Marie Martinez is acknowledged for the conservation of the traditional pottery techniques which were facing extinction in southwest upon adoption of the Spanish tin ware. The black-on-black pottery is dated back to ancient times, which excavations relating this art to Pueblo people. Originally, Maria Martinez wanted to copy this art. However, she could not perfect the skill and opted to drop the pottery. Hewett with his friends came around and asked to purchase black ware pottery in a museum. These pots were similar to those of Martinez, and this encouraged her to perfect the idea on black ware pottery.

Black pottery was a skill perfected by Maria Martinez. This art did not only need skills but also patience. The black pottery art involved six consecutive steps. Martinez began the potting process by collecting clay. The gathering of the clay was done one in a year, especially during the month of October when it was dry. By the time Maria Martinez began making the pots, she could have collected enough clay to make enough pots. The second step of her art was making the pot. The clay could be mixed with gray pink and blue sand. These could be kneaded together in equal proportions and wrapped with a towel for moderate drying. Maria Martinez could then coil the clay into tubes and mold a pot supported by the pukis. She would then smoothen the walls with gourd and cover the small openings with more clay.

The dried pot could then be polished with a stone, which gave them a shiny even look. This process was known as burnishing, after which a second slip was applied for finishing before the firing of the pot. The artist Maria Martinez did not do the pottery along. She also involved her husband Julian Martinez to decorate her pots. After attempted trials, Julian Martinez discovered that gauco juice burnt under heat and mixed with clay could give the best painting. The painting was done on the background of the already burnished pot. Among the common decorations in Martinez pots were rain, feathers, clouds, mountains, and zigzag and kiva steps. After the death of Julian, Maria’s son Adam and his wife Santana ventured into the pottery business to help Marie Martinez in collecting, molding and decorating the pots. However, the pottery was acknowledged to Marie Martinez as the founder, and as obedience to the Pueblo culture, where pottery was women work. However, he broke the cultural bond in 1925 and began signing her pottery as “Marie + Julian”, to acknowledge the participation of her husband. After the death of her husband, the signature turned to “Marie + Santana”, “Maria+Poveka and “Maria/Popovi”, to acknowledge the participation of her son’s family in the pottery (Baggs, A. E., & Pennsylvania State University 1977).

Maria Martinez is acknowledged as a legend of the black ware pottery, with her art winning numerous awards in world fairs. Among such awards was the 1973 initial grant for the National endowment for the Arts, to fund Marie Martine pottery workshop. Marie passed his skill and knowledge to many people, among them been her family members, the women, and children from other parts of the world. The works of Marie Martinez are still acknowledged up to date, with much of her collections been set as a permanent exhibition in the American museum of Ceramic Art.

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