Born into the Santa Clara Pueblo in 1948, Lois Gutierrez is the sister of Gloria Garcia (Goldenrod) Minnie Vigil, and Thelma Talachy. They all learned the ancient art from their mother, Petra Montoya Gutierrez, as they were growing up. Petra was from Pojoaque Pueblo and had married into Santa Clara. Lois married Derek de la Cruz many years ago and they’ve worked on making pots together since. Derek helps with the firing of the pots and with finding the various colors of clay that Lois uses in her designs. Lois developed a very distinctive slip – by adding white to dark gold clay to make a buff colored background. Lois has said, “My favorite part is firing. When it fires good, you know that your time and hard work has been worth it. “One of their pieces took the Best of Show ribbon at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 1982. Her specialty is polychrome with painted scenes and images from the Pueblos. Her work revives and reinterprets polychrome (multi-colored) decoration, which had almost disappeared at Santa Clara.