Stevens, Jacquie (1947-2021)
Jacquie Stevens is known for unique pottery, which often combines the clay with fiber, wicker, and stone. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised by her grandparents on the Winnebago Nebraska Reservation, seventy-five miles north of Omaha. In 1837, Winnebagos came from Wisconsin to the Nebraska reservation. Later, in the 1880s, some returned to Wisconsin. There, basket making was more prevalent than in Nebraska, because the women could find better material for weaving in the Wisconsin woodlands. But Jacquie remembers that her grandmother made beautiful baskets in Nebraska. Jacquie learned to make pottery when in 1975, she attended the Institute of American Indian Art and studied under Otellie Loloma, the well-known Hopi potter and teacher. Jacquie said of the experience, “It must have been fate that made me take a class taught by Otellie. It was like I returned home; clay became my expression. Otellie taught me that each pot has its own life, personality, character, and form – and that is what set me free. Pottery is like people, and each one is different and not perfect. I thought about this and decided it was an important idea. So I developed a new way, an unconventional way of looking at the form.” Jacquie has won numerous awards for her pottery at Santa Fe Indian Market over the years.