Acoma Pueblo - Sky City
Irvin Louis is a full blooded Native American Indian.
He was born in 1955 into the Acoma Pueblo. He is a member of the Yellow
Corn Clan, and was given the Indian name of “Vines of the Melons”.
Irvin was inspired to learn the art of working with clay from his ancestors.
Continuing long lived traditions is extremely important to him and his
people. He began working with clay at the age of 14. He was taught all
the fundamentals of hand coiling traditional pottery, using the ancient
methods past down to him from his family members.
Irvin likes working with art because of the wide range of people which
he encounters. He shares techniques and gives other artisans suggestions
as well as welcomes opinions from others.
Irvin now specializes in working with contemporary pottery. He learned
the art of making horse-hair pottery. He pours a ceramic white slip
substance into a mold and then, he pours out the excess slip and allows
the slip to dry. The ceramicware is then cleaned and polished. He heats
up the pottery in a kiln and then randomly tosses authentic hair taken
from the mane (thin lines) or the tail (thick lines) of a horse on the
heated pottery. The resulting carbon being drawn into the surface of
the pottery creates the wonderful designs and patterns. Finally, he
cleans up the finished pottery with a dry material and the finished
product is a unique marblized flare styled pot. This process of constructing
art is very hazardous and time consuming.
He signs his pottery as: Irvin J. Louis, Acoma.
-Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies