This unique cafe-style ceramic mug is a replica of a single beautiful clay pot handcrafted by Denise Chavarria of Santa Clara Pueblo.
Chavarria has incorporated very detailed carving and burnishing on a traditional red vase featuring a beautiful depiction of the Avanyu, a water serpent that the Pueblo people consider to be the guardian of water. A horned serpent with lightning emerging from its mouth, the Avanyu is believed to live in the Rio Grande and its tributaries. The creature's body typically looks like a rippling stream, and the lightning coming from its mouth signifies thunderstorms that bring rain.
A common design in the pottery of Santa Clara and San Ildefonso Pueblos, the Avanyu represents the importance of water for the Pueblo people.
About the Artist
- Holds: 16 oz
- Size: 3.25" W x 6" H x 4.5" L
- Not dishwasher or microwave safe
Denise Chavarria was born in the early 1960s and is from the Tewa-speaking Pueblo of Santa Clara. She began working with clay at the age of 16 and was inspired by her mother, Stella Chavarria, to continue the long-lived family tradition of making pottery using ancient traditional methods. Stella taught Denise the fundamentals of working with clay, and encouraged her to continue, adding to the family legacy.
Denise specializes in hand-coiling traditional black-on-black Santa Clara pottery. She signs her pottery: Denise Chavarria, Santa Clara Pueblo. She is related to Teresita Naranjo (grandmother) and Loretta "Sunday" Chavarria (sister).
All of the participating artists receive royalties for each mug sold, with proceeds also supporting the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico.