It is my great privilege to represent Franklin Peters’ traditional Acoma pottery in my Santa Fe gallery. Franklin’s ability to coil construct pots both large and small using native Acoma clay and to beautifully paint them with homemade mineral and vegetal paints is well known. To me, it’s Franklin’s creative spirit that sets him apart; from traditional 19th century designs, to his own variants on old designs; from 19th century parrot designs to ancient and playful Mimbres animals; from color simple like black-on-white to 4-5 color jars with rare yellows and pinks. Recently I asked Franklin for a swirling Tularosa, one of his most popular designs. So he made me 2: one familiar and traditional black-on-white with fine lines, but also a second without fine lines, rendered in a bold orange/tan. Finally, there is a sweetness to Franklin the man and his work. It’s hard to encounter either without smiling.
Franklin was indirectly taught pottery by his grandmother, Rosalie Vallo, who in turn taught both his mother, Ella Vallo Peters, and his Auntie Phyllis Vallo Juanico. Franklin says his mom and aunt were his primary teachers. Franklin says: “Granny showed my aunts and mom not me; just have her gift.”