Victoria Mitchell learned traditional Southeastern Woodlands style pottery making from her mother, Anna Belle Sixkiller Mitchell (Cherokee), who was recognized and credited for the revival of pottery making for the Cherokee Tribe in Oklahoma.
Victoria is a native Oklahoman and lives on a cattle ranch near Welch, Oklahoma, with her husband, Bruce, who helps her find and dig clay near the ponds and a creek on their property. She hand processes all the clay used for her pottery and sculpture which are hand built using the coil method. Most of the tools are natural items like her ancestors used when making pottery; river cane sticks, smooth river stones, bone utensils, horn scrapers, gourd necks, hand made wooden paddles for smoothing and paddles carved and incised with stamping designs.
Victoria’s mother, Anna Belle Mitchell, taught herself to make pottery in the old way when her husband wanted to have a pipe like that of Sequoia, one of the Cherokee’s great leaders. Her desire to discover how her ancestors made pottery led Anna to conduct research at museums and universities known for their collections of pottery from the Mounds cultures.
Victoria has carried on her mother’s legacy as an artist. In 2005, she was awarded a Smithsonian Native Arts Fellowship from the National Museum of the American Indian, to continue the research her mother started. Victoria teaches pottery workshops for the Cherokee, Creek, Miami and Quapaw tribes in Oklahoma. She has also conducted demonstrations and workshops across the nation at numerous museums and public events.
Victoria has been awarded for her pottery at art shows including Santa Fe Indian Market, Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market, Red Earth Festival, Cherokee Homecoming Art Show and Five Tribes Museum Art Fair. Her work is in the permanent collection of the University of Arkansas and the National Museum of the American Indian.