Turtle Figure by Lucy M. Lewis (1898-1992), Acoma Pueblo clay, pigment 1 1/4" high x 2 1/2" wide x 3" deep
Lucy Martin Lewis was born in 1898 in Acoma Pueblo. She spent nearly all her life atop the high mesa of Acoma Pueblo, making pottery since the age of 7. She is largely responsible for the revival of Mimbres black-on-white pottery designs which are more than 1,000 years old. She was famous, as well, for her exquisite polychrome designs and her fine-line and lightning designs.
Lucy Lewis was one of the most widely respected potters from her Pueblo. She was the last of the Acoma matriarchs. She followed pueblo tradition in every step of pottery production—offering prayers of thanks to Mother Earth for the clay, taking only as much clay as she needed, working the clay with only her hands, forming the vessel from coils of clay, scraping the walls with tools fashioned from gourds, painting the vessel with slips and paints made from clay and vegetal sources and, finally, firing the finished pieces in an outdoor handmade kiln.Lucy signed her pottery as Lucy M. Lewis.