© Laura Walker

Emma Yepa (Jemez Pueblo)

Emma Yepa was born into Jemez Pueblo in 1968. She began learning the art of pottery making early in life from her mother, Ida Yepa, and aunt, Alvina Yepa. They passed on the knowledge and skills they had to Emma, just as their parents and grandparents had done for them.

Emma has been active as a pottery artist since 1987 and specializes in seed pots and polished swirl melon bowls.  She elegantly blends elements of traditional Jemez pottery with her own unique, contemporary style.

She is well known for her innovative swirl melon designs that combine traditional shapes with two-toned red and white slips native to the area. She has won distinctive awards with various southwest region art competitions including the Eight Northern Arts and Crafts Show, Jemez Red Rocks Arts and Crafts Show and the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market.

Emma is proud of her origins from Walatowa, which means “the place”, and is a member of the Coyote clan.

For Emma, pottery making is a way of continuing the traditions of her people and communicating about her life through her unique artistic ideas. She currently resides in Jemez Pueblo with her two daughters and son.

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