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Secret designs: Acoma Pueblo pottery

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Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 5:00 am | Updated: 5:11 pm, Thu Jun 6, 2013.

The Pottery of Acoma Pueblo, fourth in a series of books about Pueblo ceramics by Dwight P. Lanmon and Francis H. Harlow, is a remarkable record in text, photographs, and diagrams. There is such range and depth in the discussions of materials, paints and slips, pottery forms, and decorative motifs. Consider, for example, the title of Chapter 14 (and this is no more detailed than other chapter titles): “Acoma Pottery with Red Patterns on the Underbody and/or Interior and with Interior Droplets, circa 1850-1920.”

“I don’t think anyone else has ever noticed those red swashes on the inside and tried to come up with any sort of overall picture of what they are,” Lanmon said from his Phoenix home. “Since the book came out, a couple of Acoma potters have said those were signatures of the potter.”

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