Sue Tapia (Laguna) and Tom Tapia (San Juan) (deceased)
Sue Tapia is a Laguna potter who is known for her highly polished and deep carved pieces. Her husband, Tom, (San Juan) who is deceased, was known for his sgraffito work which was detailed and sophisticated. He was the son of Leonidas Cata Tapia. He learned to make pottery from his mother. Sue coils, carves, and polishes the pot, while Tom did the masterful incising decorations. There has always been a tremendous amount of detailed complexity to their work. Their collaborations are very special.Tom created his own unique style of sgraffito, where he etched the surface area to reveal a reddish/orange background to his clean traditional designs. The natural clays that they used are dug on tribal lands. Their pots are hand coiled, then sanded, and then fired using the traditional open-air technique. They use wood and manure to fuel the fire. As the manure smolders, their pots turn black. Sue and Tom have been winning awards at various shows and exhibits (Santa Fe Indian Market, Heard Museum Indian Fair) since 1994. Their work is always unique, traditional and very precise.