Lucy Lewis is one of the great Matriarch potters of the past century. She learned to make pottery on her own and revived the pottery making process at Acoma Pueblo. Her children Dolores, Emma, Carmel and Andrew also learned to make pottery from their mother. Lucy's potter has been featured in numerous books, video and in museum collections worldwide. "Lucy M. Lewis" by Susan Peterson is the most authorative work on her pottery.
Lucy's pottery is made from a gray clay-body and formed by hand using coils. After the pot is shaped and dried, a white slip is applied. Without the slip the mineral paints would run off the pot. Next the design is applied using mineral paints and a brush made from yucca holds more paint and makes finer lines than regular brushes bought at a store. Finally on a day when the weather is right for a firing, a small number of finished pieces are carefully fired.
Her pottery features innovative designs and Pueblo traditional forms. Her designs are influenced by the color of the sky, animals, and nature along with her Native American culture. Lewis specialized in small pots that were usually six to twelve inches in height. Lewis' tribe, the Acomas, considered the clay she used for her pottery to be sacred. The creation of a single pot could take as long as two to three weeks. In 1983, Lucy Lewis was given New Mexico's Governor's Award for outstanding personal contribution to the art of the state. In 1977, she was invited to the White House. Her work is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.