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*New Jewelry* Updated: February3, 2014
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Dora Tse Pe'Dora Tse-Pe', Potter
    Dora Tse-Pe' was born in 1939 in the Zia Pueblo to Candelaria Medina of Zia Pueblo and Tony Gauchupin of Jemez Pueblo. One of thirteen children, she was first exposed to pottery by her mother, who taught her "the important things about pottery making". She learned to first show reverence by sprinkling cornmeal on the earth, and asking Mother Earth for permission to take the clay, then thanking her for it; with every step, she and her mother would ask their ancestors for guidance. She remembers her mother, sometimes with tears in her eyes, picking up a pot that exploded in firing, saying "Your weren't meant to be" and offering it back to the Earth. To this day, Dora does the same thing.
   In 1961, she married Tse-Pe' of the San Ildefonso Pueblo and made her life there. She began to watch her mother-in-law Rose Gonzales make pottery. From there her interest grew, and she decided to pursue it seriously. Rose made traditional black pottery, and was the first to carve, not just etch, her pots. It was from Rose that Dora learned how to polish.
   The style that is uniquely hers today was influenced not only by her mother and Rose, but also Popovi Da (for his two-tone, black and sienna) and Tony Da (for his inlaying of stones). Dora is best known for her unique combination of black and sienna carved pots with inlays that are turquoise, coral or onyx.
   She sold one of her first three pots to someone who entered it in the New Mexico State Fair competition, and she won a blue ribbon. Encouraged, she entered the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonials and was one of the top ten finalists, then got best of show. Soon her name began to aappear in art magazines, and she found herself giving lectures to galleries and universities on the art of pottery making. Dora's award ribbons now totals 205.
   Dora has now been a potter for thirty-seven years and considers her art a gift from the Creator. She had mentors for sure, but also developed her own techniques through trial and error. She doesn't believe in quantity, but quality. She spends a lot of time on each piece, and never goes to a show with more than twenty pieces. "when I sell a pot, while I'm wrapping it, I talk to it and say goodbye, that I hope it will have a happy home."
   She had five children, Irene, Gerri, Jen (now deceased), Candace, and Andrea. Irene and Candace are accomplished potters, and her two granddaughters show an interest in pottery making too.
   "It gives me great Pleasure to be able to create beauty from the earth", she says. "Also to know that long after I've served my time on this earth, the pots I've created will live on."
Dora Tse-Pe' Green potteryDora Tse-Pe' New Green micaceaus bowl.   4 " diameter by 3" high.   


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