Shaped by her Hands: Potter Maria Martinez

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"The most renowned Native American Indian potter of her time, Maria Poveka Martinez learned pottery as a child under the guiding hands of her Ko-åoo, her aunt. She grew up to discover a new firing technique that turned her pots black and shiny, and made them-and Maria-famous. This inspiring story of family and creativity illuminates how Maria's belief in sharing her love of clay brought success and joy from her New Mexico Pueblo to people all across the country"--


Barbara Gonzales has been a promoter and a teacher of clay based pottery making techniques for more than 40 years. She lectures, conducts clay workshops and gallery shows, and runs her family's shop, Sunbeam Indian Arts, in San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico with her husband and their four sons.

Anna Harber Freeman spends her days getting her hands messy and inspiring young people to create with clay and paint. When she isn't writing or teaching art, she loves spending time outside with her husband, two boys, and poodle. She lives in Colorado.

The daughter of a landscaper and a craft artist, Aphelandra grew up surrounded by natural beauty and creativity. While studying English in college, she took every art and design class she could, and eventually became a graphic designer. She now works in her dream job as a children's book designer while pursuing illustration in her free time. Through her father, Aphelandra is a descendant of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.

Chicago Public Library Best Informational Books for Younger Readers 2021
A Junior Library Guild Selection April 2021 

Kirkus Best Picture-Book Biographies of 2021

STARRED REVIEW! Through masterful storytelling and graceful illustrations, this impactful title embodies Maria Povika Martinez's famous words: 'The Great Spirit gave me [hands] that work...but not for myself, for all Tewa people.'--School Library Journal starred review

STARRED REVIEW! This story of a young girl from San Ildefonso Pueblo...celebrates the strong sense of culture and identity the Tewa people have maintained through the centuries. Aphelandra...paints with the hues of the Rio Grande's turquoise waters, orange pottery fires, pink sandstone sunsets, and the obsidian black clay of Maria's pots; the result is earthy and elemental, containing the spirit of the New Mexican landscape. A deserved celebration.--Kirkus Reviews starred review 

The prose is accessibly authored by Gonzales, the eldest great-grandchild of the Martinezes, and Freeman, whose childhood was informed by her Osage grandmother's collection of art. Aphelandra adds vibrant, subtly textured spreads to this profile of an arts pioneer.--Publishers Weekly

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