The Acoma pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in North America. This Indian community, which probably dates back over a millennium, was home to one of America's most talented and innovative potters-Lucy M. Lewis (d. 1992).
Born around the turn of the century, Lewis rose from humble origins to become one of the most important craftspersons of this century. As mother, matriarch, and artist, she made a monumental statement about her own society. She absorbed the work of her Indian ancestors, and from their ancient designs fashioned a modern sensibility that brought Indian pottery into the twentieth century.
She began making pots at an early age, teaching herself from shards she found around her home. With age, practice, and a keen eye came perfection, and eventually admirers. Her pieces are now in the collections of prominent museums in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, as well as throughout the Southwest.
Susan Peterson's intimate biography is a major accomplishment. It captures the essence of this inspirational woman with candor and affection. Over 220 color plates (and 120 black-and-white photos) convey the life and work of Lucy and her family. Lucy M. Lewis: American Indian Potter not only offers insights into the sources and milieu of Lewis' vast talent, but documents the achievements of one of America's greatest native craftswomen.
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About the Author
SUSAN PETERSON is one of the foremost figures in ceramic art education in the United States. She has developed ceramic departments and taught at the Wichita Art Association School, the Chouinard Art Institute, the University of Southern California, the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts in California, and Hunter College in New York City, where she is Professor Emerita. Her extensive television film series, Wheels, Kilns and Clay, covers all areas of ceramic technique and has been released on video. A practicing potter as well, Mrs. Peterson has seen her work placed in major museum and private collections. She is a Fellow of the American Crafts Council and a member of the International Academy of Ceramics; established the Joe L. Evins Appalachian Craft Center school and curriculum in Smithville, Tennessee; and has received the prestigeous Binns' award from the American Ceramic Society and the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award from NCECA.
Her other books include The Living Tradition of Maria Martinez; Shoji Hamada: A Potter's Way and Works; The Craft and Art of Clay; Contemporary Ceramics; Working in Clay; Smashing Glazes; and Jun Kaneko.