Garnet Pavatea was born in Hano at the foot of First Mesa in 1915. Her mother was Tewa, her father Hopi. She grew up surrounded by some of the finest Hopi-Tewa potters of the time and began producing pieces herself around 1946. She made pottery almost constantly from then until she passed in 1981. Her husband was Womak Pavatea and they had a daughter, Wilma Rose Pavatea, who produced miniature jars from around 1950 to around 1960.
Garnet made pottery in all kinds of shapes and sizes, both red ware and yellow ware. She was fond of adding corrugation to her pots, a style found mainly on ancient Anasazi pots. She made a lot of red bowls with bands of corrugation around their shoulders and often accompanied the bowls with matching ladles.
Garnet demonstrated her method of pottery making at the Museum of Northern Arizona regularly for many years. During her career she entered more than 400 pieces in judged competitions at the Museum of Northern Arizona's Hopi Artist Exhibition and won at least 139 ribbons.