Pueblo: Cochiti Pueblo Rita and Ivan Lewis both learned the art of pottery from their very famous mothers. Rita was the daughter of Ascencion Banada of Cochiti; Ivan was the son of Lucy Martin Lewis of Acoma. Although Ivan grew up around pottery, he did not become interested in creating pottery until his marriage to Rita in 1944. Upon returning from military service, he spent the remainder of his life at Cochiti with her.
Together they started making bowls and animal figurines around 1971, and storyteller figurines around 1973. Ivan was best known for his mermaids influenced by the lake at Cochiti and for his cowboys. Following the death of Ivan, Rita continued making storyteller figurines alone. She passed away in 1991. Rita’s potteries have always been made in true traditional fashion, using Cochiti clay, slip, and vegetal paints and firing the pieces outdoors.They are quite collectable and getting very hard to find. Many of Rita’s pieces are found in museums and galleries across the world.