Once dry, vessel walls are made even by scraping with a metal tool (mica clay is very hard when dry). A clay slurry is added to the surface and the tool is used to scrape wet and dry clay away, knocking down high spots, while adding clay to low spots
Once dry, the pots are sanded with sandstone obtained from the Santa Fe Formation (Pleistocene) that is present throughout the Chama Valley. Sandstone sanding is followed by a finer grit sandpaper sanding. Felipe Ortega in his backyard.
This is Felipe Ortega, recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as a master of Jicarilla Apache and Hispanic micaceous traditions. Taught by an Apache Woman in 1970, Felipe has been a full-time potter since 1978.