Wilma Baca, “New Wheat”, is a full blooded Native American Indian. She was born into the Pueblo of the Jemez in 1967. Wilma was inspired to make pottery by her grandmother, Marie Reyes Shendo. Marie taught Wilma all the fundamentals of constructing pottery using ancient methods passed down to her from her ancestors. Wilma experimented with clay at the age of 5. She hand coils small bowls and outdoor ovens, and has continued to enjoy working with clay.
Wilma specializes in the natural hand coiled and etched Jemez pottery. Wilma gathers her clay from the grounds within the Jemez Pueblo. Then, she soaks the clay, grinds the clay, sifts, mixes, hand coils, shapes, paints, etches her pottery, and finally, fires her pottery outdoors using the wood chip firing method. She has been etching on pottery since 1989, and she does all the etching free hand. She doesn’t use templates at all. Her favorite pottery piece to coil is the wedding vase, because of its meaning: “The spouts representing two separate lives, the bridge at the top part unites these separate lives as one.” Wilma signs her pottery as: Wilma L. Baca, followed by the corn sign.
Wilma is also related to the following artists: Carol Vigil, Imagene Shendo (cousins) and Mildred Shendo.