Seferina Ortiz 
 Cochiti Pueblo 

Bear Nativity
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(S. Ortiz
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Other Works by Seferina Ortiz

About Seferina Ortiz:

Seferina Ortiz (1931-2007) is one of the most respected potters of Cochiti Pueblo. She learned pottery making from her mother, Laurencita Herrera. She is represented in many museum and private collections. The Peabody Museum of Harvard University has 32 pieces of her pottery in its collection. (Taken from this source.)

The Ortiz Family (Cochiti Pueblo) is the latest in a long line of Southwestern Indians making figurative pottery. Cochiti Pueblo is well known for pottery "storyteller" figures. They are usually seated, almost always female, and often have one or more children on their laps or backs. The matriarch of the family is Seferina Ortiz, who learned her craft from her mother Laurencita Herrera. She encouraged her daughters Inez, Janice and Joyce, to follow her lead. All are skilled at making storyteller and animal figures, with Joyce well known for her mermaid and nativity sets. Her son, Virgil Ortiz, pioneered a revival of the 19th century style of standing human figures, including social commentary. A close-knit family, they share the tasks of gathering clay and tempering sand, with communal firing with cow dung fuel, usually at Seferina's house. The Ortiz family show deep respect for the tradition of their people, while exercising their individual creativity. (Taken from this source.)