Steven Smith was born and raised on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. He belongs to the turtle clan of the Mohawk Nation. Steven originally studied pottery under the guidance of his mother, Elda, who devoted her life to reviving the traditional style of Iroquois pottery, an art form which had been lost for over a century. The pinnacle of Elda’s career was a presentation to Queen Elizabeth II at Expo ’67, acknowledging her efforts to revive the 3000-year-old Iroquois tradition.
Under the tutelage of Italian artisan, Rinaldo Shenelly, Steven began to experiment with a variety of clays using different decorating and firing techniques. He soon established a distinctive style of pottery which has become recognizable for its unique beauty and story-telling. Each piece is adorned with a small stone or bone carving which Steven has sculpted in harmony with his ceramic creation. Steven`s style has been heavily influenced by Mayan, Aztec and southwest Native American pottery.