Carmel’s unique hand-painted designs are replicated from traditional symbols found on ancient potsherds. Carmel is the youngest daughter of Lucy M. Lewis, the driving force behind the revival of pottery-making as an art in Acoma Pueblo.
The Lewis family keeps the same patterns and avoids a contemporary style because it is very important to them to keep the traditions and designs of the ancient Mimbres people alive. This small cylinder vase would be an excellent addition to any collection.
- Cylinder Vase handmade by Carmel Lewis (Acoma Pueblo)
- Natural clay with all-natural vegetal and mineral slip
- Crafted through traditional horizontal coil method
- Traditional Geometric Designs
- Vase measures 2” H x 1 ½” W
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
Carmel Lewis was born into the Acoma Sky City Pueblo in 1947. She is one of the daughters of the world-renowned, late Lucy M. Lewis. Lucy was Carmel’s biggest inspiration for learning the ancient traditional methods of working with natural handmade pottery. Carmel gathers her clay from the age-old sources within the Pueblo, mixing and coiling the clay by hand before firing outdoors in the traditional way. She is related to Emma Lewis-Mitchell, Dolores Lewis-Garcia (sisters), and Drew Lewis (brother).
Acoma Pueblo has a tradition of pottery that stretches back centuries. Today, it is most known for a matte polychrome style of pottery featuring orange and black designs on a white background, or black fine-line designs on a white background. This traditional style is widely sought after by Native art collectors, and in addition to its distinctive color scheme, can be identified by fluted rims, very thin walls, and complex geometric designs.
Acoma artists are known for the fineness of their pottery painting, often incorporating hatching patterns that symbolize rain as well as rain parrot designs—an animal that in Acoma legend led people to water. Lightning, clouds, rainbow bands, and other elements of weather and nature are also popular designs. One of the most iconic and valuable pottery styles, Acoma pots represent a storied history of beauty and craftsmanship.
The most celebrated and recognized art form of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico is pottery. Pueblo pottery is known around the world for its remarkable beauty and craftsmanship. It has been made in much the same way for over a thousand years, with every step of creation completed by hand.
Pueblo potters do not use a wheel, but construct pots using the traditional horizontal coil method, or freely forming the shape. After the pot is formed, the artist polishes the piece with a natural polishing stone, such as a river stone, then paints it with a vegetal, mineral, or commercial slip. Finally, the pot is fired in an outdoor fire or kiln using manure or wood as fuel.
Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Jemez, and Acoma Pueblos have distinctive pottery styles that are especially prized by collectors, but accomplished potters are working in all Pueblos.
Today, Pueblo pottery is an exciting and dynamic form, with many artists pairing traditional techniques with innovative and stylized designs. Those potters who continue to create pots using traditional methods possess an extraordinary level of skill, and their pots are highly valuable works of fine art that will be enjoyed for generations to come.Read our Native American Pottery Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes, and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase, and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft. Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer.
At a time when many commercially made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.