The first child of Petra Montoya of Pojoaque and Juan Gutierrez of Santa Clara, Maria D. Minnie Vigil was born in 1931. The oldest sister of Gloria (Goldenrod) Garcia, Thelma Talachy and Lois Gutierrez de la Cruz, Minnie grew up learning the fundamentals of the traditional way of making pottery from their mother. She began making pottery for the marketplace in 1955 and won her first award at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 1975.
Minnie specialized in polychrome wares, some slipped in red clay and stone polished, some slipped in matte tan clay and not polished. Her favorite designs were rainbows, rain clouds, bear paws and sky bands.
Minnie typically signed her pieces as "Minnie, Santa Clara"