Mary Janice Ortiz was a daughter of Seferina Ortiz and sister of Virgil Ortiz. She learned all about making pottery the traditional way at an early age. Then she went to college for several years and got away from it. When she returned to the pueblo after college she realized that she was a member of a long lineage of traditional potters... and she returned to making pottery.
She liked to make "whatever comes to mind in the moment" but appeared to specialize in sculptures and figures.