(1963 - )
Ambrose Atencio is a full-blooded Native American who was born into the Santo Domingo Pueblo. He learned the art of working with clay by observing the fine, established artisans who were his family members: Hilda Coriz (sister), Arthur Coriz (late brother-in-law), Robert Tenorio (uncle), and Ione Coriz (cousin). Atencio was taught all of the fundamentals of working with clay using ancient, traditional methods. He continues to practice these methods to preserve the ways of his ancestors and to add to their legacy.
Atencio specializes in hand-coiled, hand-painted traditional Santo Domingo pottery. He gathers all of his raw materials such as clay, sand and indigenous plants from within the environs of Santo Domingo Pueblo. Clay is hand-cleaned to remove impurities and combined with natural pigments and water. The artist then begins hand-coiling his vessels. Once the pottery is dry, he sands the finished product to give it a smooth finish. Using a stem of a yucca that has been fashioned into a brush, Ambrose then hand-paints beautiful designs using natural pigments made from plants. Favored images are birds, flowers and geometrics. Vessels are fired out-of-doors in the traditional way, and each piece is dated and signed, Ambrose Atencio Kewa, Santo Domingo Pueblo.