Born in 1958, Charmae Shields Natseway is a traditional potter from Acoma. Or perhaps I should say "contemporary potter from Acoma who uses traditional methods to create her pottery." Charmae is married to Thomas Natseway, the noted Laguna Pueblo maker of miniature pottery.
Charmae learned the traditional way to make pottery from her mother, Ethel Shields, after she returned to Acoma from Tucson in 1976 and needed to be self-employed and earning money quickly. She was a quick study, the family has been long in the pottery-making business. Among Charmae's relatives are aunt Katherine Lewis and cousins Rebecca Lucario, Marilyn Ray, and Diane and Judy Lewis.
Charmae has long been known for her exquisite seed pots but she is also known for her unique forms of lidded/plugged pottery in the shapes of cylinders, pyramids, boxes and flasks, all of superb quality. She said, "I just got tired of seeing the same shapes over and over. A few years ago I made seed pots in a flat, circular form. Now I see them all over the place, so I stopped making them."
She signs her pottery as: "Charmae Shields Natseway, Acoma, N.M.", followed by a corn stalk denoting her clan.