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I have happily had a long association with the Tafoya family, beginning with featuring the pottery of Margaret Tafoya (Jordan’s great-grandmother) and Seferina Tafoya (great great grandmother) in my gallery. Later Jordan’s grandmother, multiple award winning potter Toni Roller, often helped me identify old unsigned family pottery. And Jordan’s dad is my old friend Jeff, who’s pottery I collected and later featured in my gallery. And his brother Ryan is an exceptional potter in his own right.
Jordan has been influenced by all of them. In traditional method and strict adherence to family standards of quality, he is all Tafoya and Roller: near perfect polish, great execution of form and traditional local clays and firing. However, he has his own voice too. He is experimenting with slips (red and gold), textures and even asymmetrical forms. Sometimes his designs float, designs that are traditional and his own. The result is an exciting and youthful expression of an ancient pueblo art form. I am so excited to present Jordan Roller in his first single artist show.
Jordan’s Statement: As far as physical evidence exists to prove it, I am a 7th generation potter. When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I would sit with Grandma Toni (Roller) and make turtles. They are just about the simplest thing that one can create. Between the ages of 16 and 21, I began learning to make small vessels with simple designs for extra money. Grandma would always polish them for me.
When I came back from college in 2012, I decided to take pottery more seriously. In November of 2012, I polished my first piece and was told that I was “a natural”. I was coached by my Brother (Ryan Roller), my Father (Jeff Roller) and my Grandmother.Determined to progress, I have worked for the last two years and seventh months towards being able to polish bigger, more complex pieces.
Most of my design inspiration came from looking at pictures of my Great-Grandmother’s (pottery matriarch Margaret Tafoya) work. Much of what I use on my pottery still comes from her and her style of designing. Now, I also gather much of my inspiration from things that I see in nature; mostly, clouds.
One of the most important reasons that I continue to make pottery is a feeling of responsibility to the art form and carrying on what my Great-Grandmother and Grandmother have worked so hard to build and hand down to their children. This is why I continue to use traditional methods and symbolism in my work.
I have come a long way in two-and-a-half years and have a lot of exciting plans for the future. One thing I know for sure is that I will continue to make pottery, no matter what.