Tenorio Preserves Pottery Tradition

Santo Domingo artist Robert Tenorio says after more than 45 years of creating pottery, he’s still trying to keep up with his grandmother’s methods, preserving the traditional designs and passing the knowledge down the generations.

Picking up his two great-nieces from elementary school on an early release day, he planned for them to paint bowls at his house for the afternoon.  “I love to see the little stick figures they paint,” he says.

“I don’t teach pottery.” he adds.  “That’s one of Grandma’s rules.  You learn by being around people doing it.  You learn every process from gathering the clay to firing just by being around the family.”

One of New Mexico’s foremost pueblo potters, Tenorio’s work was featured in 2016 on the poster and t-shirts developed by the Heard Museum in Phoenix for its “Celebrating the Art of Pottery” Indian Fair and Market.  Also in 2016, the Isleta Pueblo Arts and Crafts Fair honored him with its top award for an artist preserving traditional arts.

“I feel proud of that,” Tenorio says.  “I’m still trying my best to recreate the older styles with the traditional material.”

Using local yucca and other plant juices to make pigment and clay from around his village for his collectible pots, Tenorio features the traditional designs of his heritage.  He draws inspiration from ancient designs like the Mesa Verde steps, Mimbres animals and Kewa Pueblo (Santo Domingo) geometrical shapes.  He gives each piece his on style by exaggerating a specific design element or by combining designs from the three traditions on a single pot.

Rick Smith, owner of the Oldest House Indian Shop, says Tenorio’s work is deeply appreciated by seasoned collectors and new visitors to New Mexico alike.  “I am fascinated not just with the imagery and process Robert makes use of, but with the essential meaning and importance he brings to his work and the quiet pleasure he derives from it,” Smith says.  “He is more than an artistic designer.  He is a storyteller preserving his culture, history and beliefs.  That is what I appreciate about his work.”

Visit the Oldest House Indian Shop today at 215 East De Vargas Street in Santa Fe to see Tenorio’s work along with a diverse array of Native American and Western collectibles.

Visit us online at http://www.oldesthouseindianshop.com

Phone:  505-988-2488

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Charlene Reano Creates Vivid Mosaic Jewelry

The intricate and colorful mosaic components of a Charlene Reano necklace create wearable art that is a touchstone to the Southwest for visitors and locals alike.

Charlene Sanchez Reano and her husband Frank collaborate to create designs combining the traditional materials of Pueblo people with contemporary motifs.  Using shell, turquoise and other stones, the two create innovative Santo Domingo mosaic jewelry in vivid colors and varied textures.

“Charlene Reano’s pieces are a prime example of those touchstones to a moment or an experience that spark the imagination.” says Rick Smith, owner of the Oldest House Indian Shop in Santa Fe.

Frank comes from a Santo Domingo Pueblo family of jewelers and grew up learning the craft.  Charlene is from San Felipe Pueblo.  After studying at Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM, she cut and set stones for gold and silver inlay at a jewelry manufacturing company in Albuquerque.  Her sister-in-law Angie Reano, who is credited with reviving mosaic inlay among Santo Domingo jewelers, taught Charlene her craft, and she and Frank began making jewelry in the 1980s.  With Frank grinding the shell and doing the silverwork, Charlene creates, designs and cuts the tiny, fragile stones to form the multitude of mosaics that go into each piece.

See Charlene Reano’s beautiful jewelry at Oldest House Indian Shop at 215 East De Vargas Street in Santa Fe.  The shop offers a diverse array of Native American and Western collectibles.

visit us online at  http://www.oldesthouseindianshop.com

Phone:  505-988-2488

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Indian Shop Finds A New Home

The Oldest House Indian Shop at 215 E. De Vargas Street in Santa Fe is the new home of the Indian Shop at La Fonda, a retail destination for 27 years.

“We are very excited to be at the Oldest House,” says owner Rick Smith.  “This location is steeped in layers of history dating back to the 1200s.  Here our love of the timeless treasures created in the spirit of the cultures of Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Southwest combines with a fascinating community history spanning eight centuries.

The Oldest House Indian Shop welcomes visitors into the Oldest House Museum in the National Historic Landmark Barrio De Analco Historic District, one of the oldest residential neighborhoods of European origin in the United States.  A Part of the Spanish barrio originally settled in 1620, the Oldest House is also believed to rest on part of the foundation of an ancient Indian Pueblo built in the 1200s.  The New Mexico Tourism Department includes the Oldest House on its list of 15 must-see adobe structures.

Smith’s passion for sharing native American and Western collectibles shines through in the richly diverse pieces he offers.  His cases are packed with the work of notable potters, jewelers, carvers and Native American flute makers, and his knowledgeable staff members are happy to tell the stories behind the pieces.  The Oldest House Indian Shop features renowned artists including jewelers Murphy Platero and Ray Scott, Kachina carver Alton Honahni, flute makers Brent Haines and Colyn Petersen, folk artist Rory Alvarez and potters Robert Tenorio and Madeline Naranjo.  Along with his top-tier, distinctly-curated pieces, Smith offers intriguing curios for every for every collector’s budget.

“The pieces we offer in the Oldest House Indian Shop are touchstones to a moment or an experience,” Smith says.  “They are things that spark the imagination and encourage curiosity and exploration.  Here we provide a venue for the joy of being in Santa Fe.”

For more information visit the Oldest House Indian Shop, 215 East De Vargas Street, Santa Fe, NM  87501.

Visit us online at  http://www.oldesthouseindianshop.com

Phone:  505-988-2488

Join us on Facebook and Twitter.