Marcella Yepa – Jemez

Published on August 26, 2014 by Carol

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Marcella Yepa pottery
Photo courtesy of Palms Trading Company

Marcella Yepa, member of the Sun Clan, is a full blooded Native American Indian. She was born into the Jemez Pueblo in 1964. Marcella began working with clay at the age of 19. She was inspired to learn the art of working with clay from her aunt, Alvina Yepa. Alvina shared with Marcella all the fundamentals of hand coiling traditional pottery. She also taught her which hills provided the best clay to work with and special techniques to construct her art. The lucrative aspect also inspired Marcella to become an artisan. However, establishing her own unique style of art gave her a feeling of self worth.

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Marcella specializes in hand coiled contemporary swirl and melon styled pottery. She gathers her clay and other natural pigments within the Jemez Pueblo. She soaks the clay, grinds it to a powder form, cleans the clay, hand mixes, hand coils, shapes, carves the pottery, polishes her pottery with a stone, and fires her pottery outdoors with cedar chips. She hand coils many shapes and sizes of pottery like wedding vases, ollas, and traditional shapes. She signs her pottery as: M. Yepa, Jemez, or Marcella Yepa, Jemez. She is related to the following artists: Emma Yepa (cousin), and Lawrence Yepa.

Publications:

  • Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies
  • 1996 Edition of New Mexico Magazine
  • Source: pueblodirect

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