Melissa Antonio

This very fine, hand coiled pot by Melissa Antonio, from Acoma Pueblo, is designed using simple geometric figures arranged into exceedingly complex designs. Melissa uses traditional methods of making her pottery, digs the clay herself, coils and smoothes the pot, makes her own paints, and paints the designs with a yucca brush. Her complex design are done free hand. She draws the horizontal lines and then the vertical lines and creates the patterns by filling in appropriate squares. Some call this pattern a cross-word puzzle design. She uses the term “olla” to describe this shape. A term picked up from the Spanish, olla means a water container. These shapes are patterned after the ollas used by the Acoma women in past centuries to carry water to their dwellings on the top of the mesa at Acoma. Many Acoma ollas will have a slightly concave bottom, which gave the container better balance when carried atop their heads. AWARDS: 1st, 2nd New Mexico State Fair 1992; 3rd
New Mexico State Fair 1993; Best of Show, 1st New Mexico State Fair and 1st Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial, Gallup 1994; 1st New Mexico State Fair and 2nd Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial, Gallup 1995; 1st Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Craft Show and 2nd, 3rd, and HM Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial, Gallup 1996; 2nd New Mexico State Fair 1997; 3rd New Mexico State Fair, 2nd Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Craft Show 2001. EXHIBITIONS AND COLLECTIONS:  Heard Museum, City Hall, Phoenix, Eight Indian Market Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show 1994 to present, Heard Museum Show 1997 to present. PUBLICATIONS: Southern Pueblo Pottery 2000 Artist Biographies by Dr. Gregory Schaaf; Acoma & Laguna Pottery, Rick Dillingham, 1992; Pueblo and Navajo Contemporary Pottery and Directory of Artists by Guy Berger and Nancy Schiffer, 2000;

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