Franklin Tenorio

Santo Domingo
Franklin Tenorio of Santo Domingo Pueblo
Polychrome jar

Franklin Tenorio, born to Emilino B. Tenorio and Petra G. Tenorio at Santo Domingo Pueblo in September 1961, is 7/8ths Santo Domingo and 1/8th Zuni. He says his style was influenced mainly by his grandmother, Lupe B. Tenorio, and his style encompasses the best of traditional and contemporary designs and styles unique to Santo Domingo Pueblo.

He began making pottery in 1990 under the tutelage of his sisters, Vickie T. Calabaza and Anna Marie Tenorio. He learned to use clay taken from clay pits near the pueblo and to process that clay to remove impurities in it. He learned to make pottery using the hand-coil method, how to make his slips and colors from other clays and from vegetation found in the area. He learned to use the same tools, materials and techniques that have been used by Pueblo potters since time immemorial. He tends to favor birds and clouds for his design elements, along with old-time traditional imagery taught him by his grandmother Lupita. Franklin's most active and current mentor is Thomas Tenorio. While they are only distantly related, Thomas has been Franklin's source of materials, design research and marketing ideas. Thomas' generosity of spirit in helping Franklin is admirable.

Franklin's favorite pottery shapes to make are flying-saucer jars, flat-topped vases and traditional dough bowls. He also says his inspiration rises up from inside himself and forces him to express through pottery.

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