Mike and Jackie Torivio
Mike and Jackie Torivio, are a husband-and-wife team of potters from Acoma pueblo. They strive to incorporate more traditional methods into their award-winning pieces as well as teach younger generations the age-old techniques. “If we can influence art in a traditional way, our hard work will pay off,” Torivio explained. “I come from a family of potters and we’ve seen a lot of artists burn out because they are mass producing pottery. If artists use traditional methods, they will find that they can make quality pieces that satisfy collectors and themselves, and can slow down and enjoy their work.” The Torivios collect clay from the earth around the pueblo, and Jackie said that she’s working with a variety of natural materials to perfect her paints. While she was growing up, Jackie learned the art of pottery making and painting from her grandmother and mother, who would make the pots and outline a design, which she would fill in with a yucca brush.
Mike Torivio didn’t begin making pottery until he was an adult. Today, Mike forms all the ranging from tiny one-half-inch size pots to larger pieces. No matter what its size, Jackie spends hours painting exquisite, detailed designs on each piece, drawing inspiration from the pueblo traditions she learned as a child, Jackie said she takes her traditional designs an extra step by making them more intricate, yet the meaning still is the same. The Torivios have collected many top honors at shows throughout the country, including The Heard Museum’s Guild Indian Fair & Market. They also were the first Native Americans picked for the Washington Craft Show put on by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.”