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School History

Helen CorderoThe school was named after well-known original artist, Cochiti Pueblo Potter, Helen Cordero.  Helen Cordero, born in 1915 at Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico, is known for Storyteller pottery.

After trying her hand at one of the traditional figurine forms, a seated female figure holding a child, known as the Singing Mother, she was reminded of her grandfather (Santiago Quintana).  When she shaped the first portrait of her paternal grandfather, she used the traditional design but made the figure male and placed more than a realistic number of children on him.  She called him Storyteller.

“To make good potteries, you have to do it the right way, the old way, and you have to have a special happy feeling inside.  All my potteries come out of my heart.  I talk to them.  They’re my little people, not just pretty things that I make for money.”  -Helen Cordero

Helen Cordero also made mother turtle figurines with children on their backs.  According to Helen Cordero, a Cochiti legend states that in time of turmoil or trouble, Mother Turtle will come to the pueblo and rescue the children.