I am half Tewa (Santa Clara Pueblo) and half Irish. My mother was full Tewa. My father was Irish. I was born in Los Angeles, California in 1962. I was raised in the Pueblo, after my parents died from age 3 to 13. I lived in a group home for girls in Santa Fe from age 13 to 15. I’ve been on my own since I was 15 years old. I was 23 when I returned to Santa Clara Pueblo having made the full circle I returned to the Pueblo to start another life.
I remember making pottery figurines as a child but I don’t ever remember burnishing or finishing anything. So I consider myself not only a late bloomer but also a self taught artist. Many of my cousins who are potters were already well established artists when I started. My sister, (Sharon Naranjo Garcia) was my closest mentor. We come from families that have been potting for generations. I am a sixth generation potter from my family.
I started with small bowls and nativity sets. Within a couple of years I was carving designs on my pots. These designs come from inside me, and the pots will show me what designs they want. My style is traditional. I work in the black deep carved style pots. I also do the red with a clay slip that when fired turns golden, which makes a beautiful contrasting color.
I have tried to walk in the footsteps of the matriarchs of pottery in that I have been creating pieces that our family is known for. The large storage pots and water jars created b different family members, most who have gone on to the afterlife, are in museums across the country.