Lucy M. Lewis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fineline black-on-white olla by Lucy M. Lewis, ca. 1960–1970s, collection of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

Lucy Martin Lewis (1890/8–March 12, 1992) was a Native American potter from Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico.[1] She is known for her black-on-white decorative ceramics made using traditional techniques.

Lewis began making pottery at age eight, after studying with her great aunt, Helice Vallo.[1]

Lewis's pottery is made from a gray claybody and formed by hand using coils. After the pot is shaped and dried, a white slip is applied. Without the slip the mineral paints would run off the pot. Next the design is applied using mineral paints and a brush made from the brush holds more paint and makes finer lines than regular brushes bought at a store. Finally on a day when the weather is right for a firing, a small number of finished pieces are carefully pit-fired. Results are rarely 100%. Some pieces will end up cracked, the background on others will be gray rather than white (these will need to be refired), but a few will be wonderful. After going through this process one learns why these pieces should be well taken care of and carefully preserved.

Her designs are inspired by Anasazi and Mogollon culture potsherds.[1]

Lewis did not speak any English. Her final art show was the 1991 SWAIA Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[1]

Notable collections[edit]

Her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of the American Indian, as well as the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Museum of North Orange County, Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology, and others.


  • Lucy M. Lewis: American Indian Potter by Susan Harnly Peterson and Fred Kabotie
  • A Tribute to Lucy M. Lewis: Acoma Potter by John E. Collins and Dr. Frederick J. Dockstader

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Lucy Martin Lewis." The Morgan Collection of Southwest Pottery. Retrieved 17 Jan 2011.


External links[edit]