Lee Moquino

Santa Clara Pueblo

Lee Rain Cloud Moquino counts himself a seventh-generation potter from Santa Clara Pueblo. His heritage is Zia, Santa Clara, Apache and Yaqui.

He started making pottery as a child, learning from his grandfather, Corn Moquino, and from Master Potter Felipe Ortega.

Lee is one of a very few potters at Santa Clara who prefer to make micacous pottery. Other potters at Santa Clara may use a bit of micaceous clay in their creations but Lee makes his pieces like a Taos or Picuris potter might: completely slipped with micaceous clay in a balanced, 25% clay, 75% mica mix. He also prefers to ground fire and let fire clouds happen as they will.

Lee is often called on to make ceremonial pottery for Santa Clara and for other pueblos. He's very private about his creation process and his firing. For him, the whole is a sacred process and he's praying the entire time he's working, from first digging the clay to forming and firing the piece.

Lee also makes utilitarian micaceous pottery, the only kind of Native American pottery that can be used for cooking as the mica forms a waterproof seal in the firing. Can't do that with other Native American pottery without destroying it.

Fire clouds decorate a golden micaceous lidded pitcher Golden micaceous lidded pitcher with fire clouds
7 in H by 7.25 in Dia

Santa Clara Pueblo Potters