Deanna is the daughter of Lewis and Phyllis Coriz. Her father is from Santo Domingo and her mother is from the Pomo Tribe in California. Jewelry making has been in Deanna’s family for generations. On her father’s side, Deanna was taught by her grandfather Santiago Coriz and by her aunt and uncle Mary J. and Albert Coriz.
Deanna is a single mother raising four children. As her children get older, she is teaching them the art of jewelry making. Much of the jewelry they make is worn in Santo Domingo dances and ceremonies. Deanna says, “This gives my children the chance to learn more about the culture and bond with our tribe.”
“Heishi is the main focus of my artistic life, ” she says. “I like working with different shells and stones because it brings out the creativity in me. I know that I bring a great deal of joy to the recipients of my jewelry. It makes me very proud to see our tradition kept alive through my artwork.”
In 2013 at the Heard Museum Indian Fair & Market, Phoenix, Arizona, Deanna won First Place in Division E – Shell & Stone Jewelry, Mosaic Style Work for “Day & Night with Stars.”