Marilyn Ray is a member of the Yellow Corn Clan and was born in 1954 into the Acoma Pueblo. She began experimenting with clay at the age of 12. Marilyn was inspired to learn the art of working with clay from observing her grandmother, the late Dolores S. Sanchez. She had mastered all the fundamentals by the age of 18 and has established herself as one of the finest Storyteller makers working today.
She gathers her clay and other natural pigments from within the Acoma Pueblo. The clay and sand is prepared by drying, grinding, and sifting before it is mixed with water to produce the medium (weight of clay). The clay sculptures are then hand molded, air dried, and painted. Finally, they are fired outdoors, the traditional way. The colors used on her sculptures are also provided from plants and minerals.
Marilyn’s claim to notoriety started with the completion of a large storyteller in 1979. The following year she won an honorable mention award for a nativity set at the New Mexico State Fair. Today Marilyn’s storytellers are considered collector’s items. They are featured in several books and magazines including “Storytellers and other figurative Pottery” by Douglas Congdon-Martin. She has won numerous awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market.
Marilyn combines her skills in both traditional pottery making and figurative work. She signs her sculptures as: Marilyn Ray, Acoma, N.M. followed by a hand drawn lizard. She is related to: Rebecca Lucario, Judy Lewis, Diane Lewis, Carolyn Concho (sisters), Katherine Lewis (mother), and Sharon Lewis (sister in law)).