Ivan Lewis was the son of Lucy M. Lewis of Acoma. He grew up in a pottery-making household and was exposed to all aspects of the process but he was never interested enough to learn for himself. Then he married Rita Banada of Cochiti Pueblo and, in the traditional Puebloan way, moved to her home.
Rita had also grown up in a pottery-making household but it was a Cochiti household. At Cochiti the potters made the usual jars and bowls but there were also large numbers of figurines being made. Rita was more of a figure-maker and Ivan got interested in that. Rita taught him the Cochiti methods, using Cochiti clay. They made pottery separately and together for many years, usually making figures of one sort or another.
Rita and Ivan had several children and they taught those who were interested how to make pottery. That has been passed on and their grandson, Kevin Lewis, is now producing storytellers.