Aqua Hospitality Carpets Summer 2011 features the Indigenous Imprints™ collection created by Virgil Ortiz.
Ortiz, a prolific designer of pottery, jewelry and fashion, combines the artistic traditions of his native Cochiti Pueblo ancestors with bold and contemporary concepts. Consisting of twenty unique patterns, his design concepts balance the contemporary and the traditional for guest rooms, corridors and public spaces.
Scroll down to see his carpet designs and read his interview with Aqua Hospitality.
Tell us a little about your background and why you make pottery?
I grew up on the Cochiti Pueblo reservation in New Mexico where I helped my family make pottery, never really knowing it was an art form because it was always around.
Is there a particular style of work you prefer?
All the pottery I create is a revival of the older pieces my ancestors made from the 1800’s found in Cochiti. The designs are all based on social commentary and I use traditional methods and materials to create the pottery. They all have very special meanings taken from both nature and ceremonial looks from the different families on the reservation.
Who and what inspires you?
Both of my parents, their families and the entire Pueblo people of Cochiti inspires me. I collect my grandmothers’ pottery from auctions and use these historic pieces as my inspiration. The two most important elements of Pueblo life are our language and our art.
Where is your favorite place to go for creativity?
On the Pueblo. I am a visual person and I remember everything I see. From the Pueblo I can incorporate my designs into many different mediums, my clothing and accessories, pottery and now interior finishes.
How would you best describe yourself?
Very family oriented. Everything I do is to help the children on the reservation. Everything comes full circle; everything comes back to the pottery, to the language, to art, to kids. I want to pass on the family traditions to the next generation and keep it alive.
What is one of you fondest memories?
Growing up we would all go as a family to collect the materials and supplies needed to create the pottery. It was fun and everyone enjoyed searching for the right items. We still do that today and everyone enjoys helping me find the appropriate materials to create the pottery.
Name one life lesson you have learned?
To keep our family traditions alive and to give the children the backbone to be able to go out and do whatever they want.
What legacy would you like to leave for the next generation?
Pottery making and our ceremonial ways on how you are supposed to do things in our culture.
Best gift you ever received
Pottery made by my grandmother
If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
I believe animals are very intelligent. Our elders give us an animal name when we are born, mine is the badger.
My purpose in life is...
To create opportunities for children in the Pueblo that reflects the legacy of our ancestors while promoting a global awareness of the Pueblo culture.
A typical day looks like...?
Best book you have recently read?
I love all types of books but my favorite is fiction. The fictional stories take me to another place that I typically would not go. It also helps me to teach the children how to take their minds to a different place. It helps with creativity.
Best movie you have seen?
I am a movie buff! Again I like the fiction movies. I study them because eventually I would like to produce a movie.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Traveling so I can see what is not on the reservation. Georgia Sweet Tea!
What do you consider a “hot “ trend?
Hot trends are disposable. Being native, we respect everything living and I use nature a lot because it’s traditional and the designs last forever.
Click here to view the entire collection.