Carmel Lewis – Acoma

Published on August 20, 2014 by Carol

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Carmel Lewis Tulip Vase

Carmel Lewis was born in 1947 into the Acoma Sky City Pueblo. She is one of the daughters of the world renowned late, Lucy M. Lewis. Lucy was Carmel’s biggest inspiration for learning the ancient traditional methods of working with natural handmade pottery. Carmel gathers her clay from the pits within the Acoma Pueblo. She cleans her clay by hand to purify the natural ingredients that mother earth has provided her with. She hand mixes, hand coils, and hand paints her pottery using the ancient traditional outdoor firing techniques. Her unique hand painted designs are replicated from tradition symbols found on ancient pottery shards. Lucy was the driving force behind the revival of pottery making as an art in the pueblo of Acoma. 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 the of these designs which are replicated are the deer pot, lighting bolt pattern, and the many variations of the mimbres patterns. She is related to Emma Lewis-Mitchell, Dolores Lewis-Garcia (sisters), and Drew Lewis (brother).

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There are numerous books referencing Lucy M. Lewis and her daughters, they can be found in:

  • Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies
  • Fourteen Families in pueblo pottery
  • Southwestern pottery Anasazi to Zuni
  • Talking with the Clay
  • American Indian Pottery 2nd Edition
  • Seven Families in Pueblo Pottery
  • Awards:

  • Santa Fe Indian Market Various 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place numerous years
  • Eight Northern 1st various years
  • Heard Museum show
  • New Mexico State Fair
  • Others received too many to list
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