Shelden Nuñez-Velarde > Artists > Shelden Nuñez-Velarde

Shelden belongs to the Ollero clan, sometimes referred to as the mountain people-pottery makers. His interest in the art of pottery started at an early age and being presented with opportunities to learn from established potters such as Lydia Pesata, Jicarilla Apache, and Felipe Ortega, a potter of Jicarilla descent. The desire to produce beautiful pottery pieces was already in place as his great, great grandmother, O’Ha Montoya, who lived on the plains and mountains surrounding Cimarron, New Mexico possessed the ability to create micaceous utilitarian pottery.

Throughout the years, Sheldon has developed his own unique style of developing pottery. He specializes in hand-coiling traditional Jicarilla Pottery. As his ancestors did, Shelden gathers the clay and slip from clay sources. He soaks the clay, cleans, sifts, mixes, hand coils, shapes, sands, polishes, and then fires his pottery outdoors, using pine or cedar wood. The pottery pieces he produces are reflective of both traditional-functional and contemporary.

For over 25 years, Shelden has won national recognition and numerous awards for his art. Besides his own artwork, he has conducted workshops and demonstrations throughout the Southwest about the Jicarilla Apache pottery traditions.

Shelden is also an accomplished bead-worker and basket-maker.

Find Shelden’s work here.