Noreen Simplicio digs her clay from the traditional
Zuni clay beds, processes the clay to a plastic form, coils, forms and
polishes her work using traditional methods, and makes her own paint
pigments that are fired on the ware; and then she fires in a
commercial kiln - as do most Zuni potters today.
"Like many others, I had
my first lesson in pottery making in 1977, here at the local High
School in Zuni Pueblo. Classes were instructed by Jennie Laate, an
"After High School, I
started in an Apprenticeship with noted clay sculptor, Angelina
Medina. Angelina inspired me to further develop my skills and venture
into the increasingly competitive world of pueblo pottery.
"My unique pottery forms
are characterized by a distinctive delicacy of design that combines
traditional Zuni pottery symbols with contemporary design elements of
my own creations. I make great use of fine line, and of bird and
animal symbols. The scenes depicted on my work often stress the
Universal Harmony that should be maintained among all living things.
I specialize in miniatures, bowls, seed-bowls with lizards and vases
sculptured with scenes of ancient pueblo dwellings that are fully
detailed with tiny figures of pueblo inhabitants.
"In February of 1988, I
entered my very first competitive Art Show in Palm Springs,
California. There I experienced the thrill of receiving an Award of
Excellence for my work, and of selling virtually all of my creations
directly to the public.
"My second show was the
All Zuni Artist Show at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff.
In May of 1989, of the six pieces that I placed in competition, four
were awarded First Place blue ribbons, one received second, and one
"In August of 1988 I was
featured as a new artist at the 67th Annual Indian Market in Santa Fe,
New Mexico. I have a growing list of major art awards.
"In January of 1990, I
took over for the teacher who had first taught me the basics of
pottery making at the Zuni High School. Since then, my work has been