Susan Folwell

Santa Clara Pueblo

"My earliest recollection I can think of is that my mother gave me a ball of clay. I decided I wanted to make a snake. It was a long flat tube. She said if you want people to be interested in it, it has to have some character. I said I thought it had enough character. She said no, so she bent the tube and made it into an "S" and she pinched the nose. I cried for like an hour, as she pinched the nose and I thought it was now a worm, she swore it was still a snake. In the end, I was thrilled because it sold for $2. I was hooked after that." That was Susan in an interview published in one of the many magazines that have featured her and her work. Susan is one of the innovators at Santa Clara, one of those who is pushing hard into the contemporary realm.

Born in 1970, Susan is the daughter of Jody Folwell and sister of Polly Rose Folwell. As Jody learned the traditional ways of making pottery from her mother, Susan and Polly Rose learned through watching and working with Jody. Then Susan took it a step further. Lately she seems to have been collaborating with Les Namingha (of Zuni and Hopi heritage).

Susan has earned numerous ribbons at events like the Heard Museum Guild Indian Art Fair & Market in Phoenix and the Santa Fe Indian Market. She has also been featured in numerous magazine articles and books on contemporary Southwest and Santa Clara pottery.

Band of sgraffito Northwest Coast design above the shoulder on a brown jar
Brown jar decorated with a sgraffito geometric design on the base and a band of sgraffito Northwest Coast design above the shoulder
6.25 in H by 8.5 in Dia
Sgraffito geometric design on a black jar
Black jar decorated with a sgraffito geometric design
3 in H by 4.75 in Dia
Polychrome jar with multiple Northwest Native American motifs
Multiple Northwest Native American motifs on a polychrome jar
10.75 in H by 9.25 in Dia

Santa Clara Pueblo Potters