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