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Lucy Lewis - 1897-1992
Born and raised in the Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, Lucy Lewis learned to create pottery from her aunt when she was seven or eight years old. At first she made pots to sell tourists, receiving five or ten cents for each pot.
After her marriage and the birth of nine children, Lewis continued to make tourist pottery, signing them 'Acoma Pueblo'. It was not until much later that Lewis began to craft her pottery more carefully. She continued to make tourist pottery, but occasionally she painted designs of her own. Unlike Nampeyo or Maria Martinez she did not study pots at archeological sites or in museums, but based her creations on ancient pottery shards she found on the mesa and her own imagination.
In 1950 she exhibited a fine-line pot in the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial and won a blue ribbon. Art lovers began to collect her pottery and Lucy began to sign the pots with her own name. Signing her own name broke with Pueblo tradition of not calling attention to yourself.
She was known for several innovations, including fine-line design, the use of the Zuni heart-line deer and the use of empty space. Unlike Maria Martinez, Lucy painted her own pots. She worked at making pottery until her death in 1992 at the age of 95.