Carolyn Lewis Concho was born into Acoma Pueblo in 1961 as a daughter of Katherine and Edward Lewis. She belongs to the Yellow Corn Clan. After growing up surrounded by some of Acoma's finest potters, she became known as one of the "Five Lewis Sisters of Acoma": Rebecca Lucario, Marilyn Ray, Judy Lewis, Carolyn Concho and Diane Lewis. Actively producing pottery since 1984, Carolyn credits her older sisters with helping her make the decision to become a pottery artist.
As she uses only natural materials to create her pottery, Carolyn gathers her clay, minerals, and plants for pigments on the grounds of Acoma Pueblo. She soaks the clay, cleans, mixes, hand coils, sands, paints her designs, and then finishes the process by kiln firing her pottery.
Carolyn's creations always start with animals that are fashioned after ancient Mimbres designs. Many believe that some of the prehistoric Mimbres people migrated to Acoma Pueblo. Her trademark is a tactile element on her seed pots and plates, such as an ear or head of a rabbit that three-dimensionally pops out of the surface, rendering a realistic effect and adding a bit of whimsy. She decides the placement of the creatures and surrounds the figures with fine black-line designs. Carolyn uses a camel hair brush since she's found that yucca brushes don't glide smoothly enough for her purposes.
She has won numerous awards at the Heard Museum Indian Art Show, Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show, New Mexico State Fair, Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial, and SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market. Carolyn signs her pottery "Carolyn Concho, Acoma".
Carolyn has shared the meanings of some of her designs with us:
Butterfly = Beauty, Dragonfly = Messenger, Turtle = Longevity, Hummingbird = Prosperity, Bird = Cloud Swallower, Lady Bug = Good Luck, Fish = Faith, Rabbit = Abundance, Lizard = Curiosity, Kokopeli = Fertility