How does your environment affect your art?
Having my studio in Jemez is inspiring because not only do I have my culture and family right next to me, but my materials are right here, too. My husband, Michael, is in the Air Force, and he is stationed in Albuquerque, so we live there. But if he wasn’t stationed there, I would be here 24/7. I work best on the pueblo. My aunt is here. My dad and brother pop in whenever they want to
Where do you get your clay?
It’s about a half mile down the road on the pueblo. I have a neighbor collecting it right now because I’m pregnant.
Tell me about the history of your studio
It’s a blessing to have been given the space by my grandfather. Before he died, he told me, “Now you will always have a place to make your artwork.” He built this home in the 1950s, my mother was born here, and he raised his 11 children here in a two-room adobe. No electricity, no indoor plumbing. But it was always special to be here as a child. About 15 years ago the roof was falling down, and my father helped to repair it. I’ve added a bathroom and recreated the home, putting in a fireplace because that’s where my mother was born—in front of the fireplace.
You enjoy having your children in the studio.
Working with my kids (Isaiah, 6, and Tyra, 3) in the studio is not only necessary but rewarding. It’s neat to be with them and know they are safe. But it can be stressful. My son is a scientist. Lately he likes to see what melts, and he keeps putting stuff in the microwave. Recently he put a whole egg in there as an experiment and it exploded, popped open the door, and watery egg went everywhere.