Santa Clara Pottery: A Tradition of Polished Elegance

Among the most well-known pottery in the world, Santa Clara pottery is primarily known for its polished red and blackware. Located near the Rio Grande, the Santa Clara Pueblo has a long-standing tradition of pottery-making with techniques passed down through generations. 

At Lema’s Kokopelli, we invite you to explore our Santa Clara collection and experience the beauty and depth of these exquisite creations. Each piece is a masterful blend of ancient tradition and contemporary design, offering a unique window into the soul of the Pueblo culture.


The story of Santa Clara pottery is as rich as the clay from which it is formed. It is rooted in ancient Pueblo culture dating back to the 16th century. For generations, the Tewa Puebloans of Santa Clara have passed down their pottery-making skills, preserving a legacy that has survived time and history. This pottery is more than an art form; it is a living testament to the resilience, creativity, and enduring spirit of the Santa Clara people. 


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Santa Clara pottery underwent a renaissance as artists began experimenting with new forms and techniques. Innovations that set them apart included deep carved designs and distinctive polished red and black finishes, ushering in a new era of artistic expression. 

Santa Clara Wedding Vase

Designs & Distinctions

Santa Clara pottery is renowned for its uniquely beautiful qualities. The hallmark of this pottery is its lustrous, polished surface, achieved through hand-coating the clay with a fine slip before it’s polished with a smooth stone and fired. This creates an exquisite sheen that’s both visually stunning and pleasing to the touch. The most iconic Santa Clara pottery is its blackware and redware. The blackware achieves its hue through a reduction firing process, depriving the pottery of oxygen in the kiln. Redware, on the other hand, is fired in an oxidized environment, resulting in a warm, inviting red tone. 

Santa Clara pottery features a wide range of styles, from elegantly simple to intricately carved. Carved designs are a distinctive feature, often depicting traditional Pueblo motifs such as the Avanyu (the Tewa water serpent, kiva steps, and various nature-inspired themes. The depth and precision of the carvings are a testament to the skill and patience of the artisans.

Santa Clara Pottery

At Lema’s Kokopelli, our collection of Santa Clara pottery is carefully selected to give you a glimpse into the soul of the Pueblo culture. Each piece is more than a vessel; it is a piece of history, handcrafted with care and respect for tradition. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a newcomer to Native American art, Santa Clara pottery is an exquisite addition to any collection. 

We invite you to explore our online collection and discover the beauty of Santa Clara pottery for yourself. Here, you’ll find the perfect piece that connects you to the rich tapestry of Native American culture and the beauty of the Southwest. 

Santa Clara Kokopelli Pot