Pueblo: Santa Clara Pueblo

Julie GutierrezInspired by her mother, Victoria Gutierrez, Julie began experimenting with pottery at the age of 12. Her mother and her aunts taught her all the fundamentals of working with natural clays and pigments so that she could continue the long lived tradition of working with clay.

Julie specializes in traditional contemporary, handmade Santa Clara pottery that is etched and crafted with authentic turquoise stones.

Julie gathers all of her materials from within the Santa Clara Pueblo. She begins with the gathering of the clay which she then breaks down the clumps to form a fine powder. This powder is mixed with volcanic ash and water to create the pliable clay.  This mixture is laboriously kneaded by hand until a smooth consistent clay is formed. Julie begins her pots by forming snake like coils of clay and placing them in a circle. They are pinched and smoothed as the piece of pottery begins to take form.

Once the pottery has taken a vessel shape and has been sanded for a fine smooth texture, Julie hand etches her flowers and fires her pottery the traditional way – with dung outdoors in an oxygen reduction fire. Julie’s trademark is the turquoise stones that she adds to the center of each rosette.

She also hand coils small animals, mushrooms, and several different shapes of vases and bowls. Her pottery is signed: J.A. Gutierrez, SCP.

She is featured in Pueblo Indian Pueblo Pottery – 750 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaff.