Pueblo: Acoma Pueblo

“The old techniques of my ancestors have motivated me even more so to become a part of this tradition. By doing so, I too try different techniques. My grandmother and those before her were strong in keeping the spirit and tradition alive…. It makes me feel good—a part of our ancestors—to do it in the traditional way.”
—Dolores Lewis-Garcia

Dolores Lewis-GarciaDolores is one of the daughters of the world renowned late, Lucy M. Lewis. Dolores has been around great pottery artists her whole life; however, her greatest inspiration came down from her mother, Lucy, who was the driving force behind the revival of pottery making as an art in the Pueblo of the Acoma Dolores is a self-taught artisan who learned the ancient traditional methods of working with clay by carefully observing her mother and other members of her family construct beautiful pottery vessels.

 Dolores chose to continue the long lived tradition of working with pottery and using the ancient methods passed down to her from her grandmothers, because of the importance to keep her people’s traditions alive. She gathers her own natural pigments and clays from the clay pits within the Acoma Pueblo. She cleans her clay for impurities by hand, then hand mixes, hand coils, hand paints each beautifully traditional piece.   A traditional firing method adds the finishing touch to her wonderful masterpieces which mother earth has blessed her with. Dolores Lewis-Garcia is also related to Emma Lewis-Mitchell, Carmel Lewis (sisters) and Drew Lewis (brother).

The Lewis family keeps the same patterns and does not move to a contemporary style, because it is very important to them to keep alive true traditions and designs of the ancient Mimbres people alive. Some of these designs which are replicated are the deer with a heartline, lightning bolt pattern, and the many variations of the mimbres animal patterns.

Suggested Reading: Lucy M. Lewis American Indian Potter by Susan Peterson, 1984.