Mudhead by Paul & Dorothy Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo
Mudhead, 1997 by Paul & Dorothy Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo clay 1 3/4" high x 2 1/4" long x 1 1/2" deep
The Gutierrez's are a husband and wife team that specialize in Native American Indian figurative pottery.Paul "White Corn" Gutierrez and Dorothy "Corn Maiden" Gutierrez are both full blooded Native American Indians;Paul was born in 1940 into the Santa Clara-Tewa Pueblo and Dorothy was born in 1940 into the Navajo Nation.Paul is from a family of well-known potters, the grandson of Lela and Van Gutierrez and the son of Luther Gutierrez, (of Margaret & Luther), all of the Santa Clara Pueblo.Paul and Dorothy have been married since 1965, and have two sons, Paul Gutierrez Jr. and Gary Gutierrez.
Encouraged by their relatives, Paul and Dorothy began to learn the art of working with clay at an early age.Paul has been working with clay since the age of 12 and Dorothy since grammar school.They were both taught the fundamentals of working with clay using traditional methods and ancient techniques.Paul and Dorothy now specialize in handmade clay pottery such as storyteller pieces, Mudheads, nativity scenes, angels, ornaments, and animals.
The Gutierrez's create their sculptures by first gathering the clay for their artwork from within the Santa Clara Pueblo and then preparing the clay in the traditional way by drying, grinding, and sifting before it is mixed with water to produce the clay medium.The Gutierrez sculptures are created by hand pinching and then they are air dried and fired in the traditional way (outdoors with horse manure).The Gutierrez's sign their artwork as Paul & Dorothy P. Gutierrez, SCP.They create unique Santa Clara blackware Storytellers (see picture on right) which have become highly valued among collectors and sell quickly.
Gary Gutierrez, the son of Dorothy and Paul Gutierrez, is also a very well known American Indian artist.Gary also makes figurative pottery but in a larger scale as he does very fine human figures that are well formed and beautifully polished.Gary's work is a blend of the traditional and the contemporary and stands well as contemporary Native American artwork.His work continues to gain in recognition and popularity as well.
Paul passed away in 2017 and Dorothy is carrying on the work they began together.