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Ethel Gutierrez Yazza

Ethel “Turquoise Rock” Gutierrez-Yazza is a full blooded Native American Indian. She was born in 1959 into the Santa Clara-Tewa Pueblo. Ethel began working with clay at the age of 5. She was taught all the fundamentals of hand coiling traditional black pottery and using the ancient traditional methods in the process, which were past down from generation to generation. The lucrative aspect of the business also inspired her to become an artisan.

Ethel specializes in stone polished black Santa Clara pottery. She gathers her clumps of clay from within the Santa Clara Pueblo. Then, Ethel soaks the clay to break it down. She mixes the clay with volcanic ash along with other natural elements. She begins the hand coiling methods and hand shapes her pottery. After the pottery is formed she begins carving her pottery with meaningful designs known to her people. Her carvings include serpents, kiva steps, feathers, and water waves which all symbolize important religious beliefs to her people. She signs her pottery as: Ethel Yazza, Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. Effie Garcia, Julie Gutierrez, Sally Gutierrez-Tafoya (sisters), and Eugene Gutierrez (brother) are among a few of her relatives continuing the long lived tradition of hand coiling pottery.