Estefanita L. Calabaza, an enrolled member of Santo Domingo Pueblo has been creating art since she was 2 years old.  Her father, self-taught and renowned artist ‘Ca’Win’ Jimmy F. Calabaza, who specializes in handmade rolled beads, lapidary work and silver and gold-smithing, encouraged her creative and artistic skill and formally taught her the process of making jewelry through engagement and observation.  It was not until she was 8 years old that she began making and selling single strand necklaces at local art shows alongside her father.  She continues to create jewelry using Santo Domingo Pueblo techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. 


While her passion is in the form of jewelry making, she has explored the art forms of rug weaving, basketry and pottery making.  Although she didn’t gravitate toward these types of art forms, she did realize that she enjoyed the concept of infusing and incorporating elements of her Pueblo’s pottery designs in her paintings which enables her to create a contemporary interpretation outlet by juxtaposing ancestral expression which allows her voice to perpetuate on canvas.  Since 2011, through the encouragement of her mother, she started to experiment with oil and acrylic paints, an art form that is being self-taught.  She says that the canvas is her modern clay pot and the color used in her designs brings a different angle and perspective to her Pueblos pottery designs.  She enjoys this art form as it brings fond memories of her grandmother when she would create pottery.  She observed her grandmothers effortless artistic and creative flow incorporating designs onto the pot.  She witnessed the innate connection of the pot’s beauty and design.  


Estefanita’s disposition to explore new art forms and different techniques is to continue to radiate her ancestor’s voice through her artistic and creative expression, which honors the connection with the past, present and future through the imprint of remembrance.  Her creative process not only comes from that remembrance but through nature, insect and animal life, floral patterns, Puebloan life, and celestial elements in symbolic imagery incorporating Pottery designs.


She wants to continue to refine her artistic style and jewelry making techniques to the quality of her father.  Her future ambition is to perfect her silver-smithing skills and continue to share the beauty of Santo Domingo Pueblo.