Emma Lewis Mitchell – Acoma

Published on August 25, 2014 by Carol

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Emma Lewis Mitchell pottery

Emma Lewis-Mitchell was born in 1931 into the Acoma Sky City Pueblo. She is one of the daughters of the world renowned late, Lucy M. Lewis. Emma was around great pottery artists her whole life, however, her greatest inspiration came down from her mother, Lucy. Emma was a self taught artisan, she learned the ancient traditional methods of working with clay by carefully observing Lucy construct her beautiful pottery vessels. Emma 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 peoples traditions alive. Emma gathers her own natural pigments and clays from the clay pits within the Acoma Pueblo. She cleans her clay for impurities by hand, then, she hand mixes, hand coils, hand paints, and uses a traditional firing method to add the finishing touch to her wonderful masterpieces which mother earth has blessed her with. 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 patterns. Lucy was the driving force behind the revival of pottery making as an art in the Pueblo of the Acoma. Emma is also related to Dolores Lewis-Garcia, Carmel Lewis (sisters), and Drew Lewis (brother).

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Publications:

There are many books on Lucy M. Lewis and her daughters, information on these fine artisans 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
  • Source: pueblodirect

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