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Stella and Jackie Shutiva

Stella Shutiva credited her mother, Jessie Garcia, with reviving corrugated pottery. "I just adored her corrugated. When I started up again making pottery, I wondered if I could ever do it. If I just watch my mom, it's hard to learn my own way. So I had to do it myself. It took almost four years."

Today, corrugated pottery in the "Shutiva style" is a family trademark. Stella's daughter, Jackie Histin, is making storytellers that sit on a corrugated plaque like her grandmother Shutiva's braided rug, where Jackie sat to hear stories when she was a child.

Prehistoric potters pinched each coil with their fingers as it was made, one coil at a time. For today's corrugated pots, each coil is left unsmoothed on the outside, and then textured all at once with a pointed tool when the pot is completed. The coils must be made precisely, without mistakes.

Stella believed that the tradition of the lost Pueblo pottery must be kept alive, as well as the creation of new ideas and the addition of a new dimension to the ancient form of corrugation.

Someone once accused Stella of using a cake decorator to texture her corrugated pottery. When she brought her new pots to a trader she would say with a smile, "This is all I could bring. My cake decorator broke."


Jackie Shutiva Histin is the second daughter of the late Stella Shutiva, an internationally known potter of corrugated pottery, traditionally known as the thumbnail or pinchpot technique. Jackie has committed herself as a full-time potter, carrying on the "Shutiva style."

For More Information: Talking With Clay