Nanette Valerio was born and raised in Espanola, New Mexico. She has always been genuinely interested in various art form expressions. Initially, she was attracted to acrylic paint and canvas, but has found that working with clay provides another form of expression of her creative self. She has a strong passion for painting, which allows her to see things differently and appreciate a lot more of the subtleties that lie beneath the obvious. She has been working with clay for stoneware for the past 5 years and has produced a myriad of unique pieces. She has distributed them for exhibit and sale in many locations throughout Northern New Mexico, as well as, private purchases. For the past 2 years she has shifted her focus to micaceous clay and the traditional method of pottery design and potterymaking. "It's the dirt", she replies when asked what it is that she finds so special and appealing about working in clay. "It's Mother Earth. It's got its own energy. There is an energy that grounds you." Albeit the processing of micaceous clay is more labor intensive than pre-processed clay purchased off the store shelf, the entire process is throughly rewarding. In her studio, Nanette has a KM 1027 Skutt KilnMaster Kiln which she uses for firing her ceramic stoneware and pre-firing the micaceous clay pieces. She uses the traditional method of firing the micaceous using metal to cover the pieces and building a fire fueled by wood. On occasion, during the firing process, pottery pieces explode and the work is lost. Nanette's creativity could not accept that the work she put into the pottery piece be lost altogether. She thought about how she could use the shards to create something beautiful and useful. The micaceous clay pendant was born! Using her skills as a jeweler, she fashioned wire jewelry design with the integration of the shard as the center piece for the pendant. Her inspiration is all around her- the sky, mountains, all the beautiful architecture of New Mexico and the overwhelming joy of making someone happy with one of her pieces.