Ellza’s love and dedication to working with Micaceous clay began in 1997 when she embarked on a journey of discovery under the tutelage of Master Potter, Felipe Ortega, from La Madera, New Mexico. This pottery is made with micaceous clay, dug from the earth in Northern New Mexico. After cleaning the clay, pieces are fashioned by hand, in a “coil and scrape” method learned from the Jicarilla Apache tradition, though for some she incorporates the use of a contemporary wheel. Each piece is sanded and smoothed, then covered with layers of clay slip, which are extensively buffed in and polished with a small stone. This physically demanding technique brings out the clay’s unique luster. To complete the process, each vessel is hardened in an open fire.