Robert Naranjo is from Santa Clara Pueblo, north of Santa Fe. He makes pottery nativities that have been fired to become black. Before he fires them, each piece is burnished with a smooth stone so that is become shiny. This technique was perfected by Maria Martinez in the early 20th century. After the figures are fired, Robert etches them in a technique called sgraffito. The result is a pueblo nativity with a distinctive look. All the designs are traditional, and he adds bits of turquoise to the animals for eyes. It is time consuming work, and he usually makes only one nativity a year. There are seven figures. The tallest figure is almost 5 inches tall (12 cm.).
SANTA CLARA BLACK POTTERY NATIVITY BY ROBERT NARANJO
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