My name is Isaac Coriz. I am 32 years old (2011) and I have lived in Santo Domingo all my life.
I remember about 17 years ago, maybe more, standing alongside my grandmother, Lupita T. Coriz, watching her as she shaped and drilled her fine heishi, listening as she explained each step.
As I gazed down at the breathtaking inlay of my mother, Mary Coriz Lovato, my eyes were captured! Each piece of turquoise and silver had its own place forever on shell with fine polishing to follow.
I watched my grandfather, Santiago Leo Coriz, as he carried his turtles and many hands, gifted hands – his thoughts speaking through the stamp work, polishing yards of chain, pools of turtles, finishing with double crosses.
Strong traditional beliefs, farming and daily discipline was a part of all their teaching – heishi for its patience and lore.
The mosaic teaches me how to sort and put things in life where they belong, in their own place.
The silver brings strength and the knowledge to know the difference and its discipline.
By trade I am a carpenter, tile setter, wildland firefighter, a designer of adobe homes. But as time moves on and hands get tired, I come to find myself reaching back to what the artist within me has chosen to create and so I must follow my spirit and all the directions I must take to become better at what I must do. And I must hold on to a helping hand when it reaches out.
I am now focusing on my inlaid mosaic. I maintain an old-fashioned style. I remember my teachers in collaboration with my contemporary design and ideas. My pieces tell a different story now and each bring a special, a forever, feeling.
Santo Domingo Pueblo