Paulita Pacheco (1943-2008) was a member of the Fire Clan at Santo Domingo. Her husband and helper Gilbert (1940-2010) was a member of the Corn Clan at Santo Domingo.
Paulita began working with clay relatively early in life. She worked with her mother, Juanita C. Tenorio, and grandmother, Andrea Ortiz, to gather natural pigments on the grounds of Santo Domingo Pueblo before she was even a teenager. Later on she learned the full process from start to finish under the hands of Robert Tenorio, her brother.
Gilbert was probably digging clay with his elders about the same time. Together they have hand-coiled, shaped, decorated and fired many shapes and sizes of pottery through the years.
However, they started out together making stone strung jewelry, until Paulita's eyes gave out. That's when her brother stepped in and offered to teach her how to make pottery.
They passed it forward when they taught their daughter Rose and her Navajo husband Billy Veale to make traditional Santo Domingo pottery, too. After Paulita had a stroke, Gilbert was left pretty much on his own to support them. Rose and Billy stepped up and helped both of them get through those final years of their lives by assisting them in continuing to make pottery.
Paulita's pottery was signed sometimes just Paulita but usually Paulita Pacheco Santo Domingo Pueblo with a corn stalk denoting Gilbert's clan affiliation.