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Norma Jean Ortiz

Norma Jean Ortiz has lived at Acoma Pueblo for most of her life. She supports herself and her daughter by creating pottery in the way her Native American family has been for over 1,000 years. None of Norma Jean's designs are written down, they are all in her head and each piece is unique.

She mines the clay on the reservation, mixes it with old pottery fragments found in the hills and soaks this with rain water. The colors for the paint come from wild spinach and ground-up limestone. The making of the pots actually takes about 2 weeks or more. Norma Jean has sold her pottery to customers from as far away as Hawaii, Canada and Japan.