Santa Clara Pueblo
Erik Fender, Than Tsideh “Sunbird”, was
born in 1970 into the Santa Clara Pueblo. He specializes in traditional
and contemporary blackware pottery.
He started the art of pottery making by watching his grandmother, Carmelita
Dunlap, as she would hand coil and hand paint her traditional black
-on-black pottery. As he grew older, he started to experiment more with
various techniques and clays. His style progressed from the traditional
black-on-black pottery to an innovated two tone, black-on-red, separated
by sgraffito low relief carving.
He also makes beautiful polychrome pots and presently he specializes
in green-on-black pots. He harvests his clumps of raw clay from the
sacred grounds within the Santa Clara Pueblo, then, Erik breaks the
clumps of clay to a fine powder substance and mixes it with volcanic
ash and water, once that process is complete he hand coils snake like
forms and begins to construct his vessel. When the vessel is built it
is set out to dry. Once it has dried he sands it down to smooth out
the surface. He stone polishes and hand paints his designs with all
natural paints which are all boiled from native vegetation grown in
He is related to Martha Appleleaf Fendor (mother), Carmelita Dunlap
(grandmother), Linda Dunlap (aunt), Jeannie Mountain Flower Dunlap (aunt),
and Carlos Dunlap (grandfather).
He signs his pottery as Than Tsideh which means “Sunbird”.
-1987 New Mexico Congressional Art First Place
-1988 Santa Fe Indian Market First Place
-1998 Santa Fe Indian Market Honorable Mention
-Pueblo Indian Pottery 750 Artist Biographies
-Pueblo Artists Portraitses
-Featured Artist in Southwest Magazine