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I enjoy bringing to light the beautiful patterns and colors waiting to be discovered that lie hidden beneath a rock's surface. My focus is to enhance the existing beauty of a rock and let its natural features guide me on what to create.

When my work is finished, I want nature's art work to out shine what I have done.


John Ottea



My interest in rocks began in grade school and has remained with me throughout life. This interest first developed into a hobby and after graduation from the University of Texas became my career. My first job was selling diamonds and other precious gemstones in the jewelry business. Fifteen years later I made a career change and started my own marble and granite countertop business. I taught myself how to fabricate the various edge profiles for countertops by hand using diamond cutting blades, grinding wheels and polishing pads.

In 2009, I fulfilled by dream of moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico. New Mexico not only became my home but also my new playground for collecting rocks and minerals. In addition, I'm using my skill set from the marble and granite business in my most recent business opportunity.

On a Sunday in May of 2014, I walked into Indigo Gallery and met the owner, Jill Shwaiko. I noticed her bronze sheep sitting on rock pedestals and asked if she had ever considered using petrified wood for her pedestals. I had a beautiful piece in my car and Jill loved it!

Since that day, Jill and I have worked closely on finding exactly the right rock to fit the theme of her sheep. We make the rock pedestals a work of art as well by determining which part will face forward and what areas to polish. I personally hand select these rocks at a quarry in the San Pedro Mountains just south of Madrid and the petrified wood comes from a private ranch near Cuba, New Mexico.

Gallery Representations:
Indigo Gallery - Madrid, New Mexico
La Tierra Mineral Gallery - Taos, New Mexico
River Trading Post - Scottsdale, Arizona


Below are some of the wonderful rock pedestals by John and bronze sculpture by Jill Shwaiko.


'Lessons of the Balance'

'Medium Star Gazers'

'Medium Lessons of the Balance'

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INDIGO GALLERY - 2860 D. State Hwy. 14 - Madrid, New Mexico - 505-438-6202
Mailing Address: 2854 D. State Hwy. - Madrid, New Mexico 87010

Jill Shwaiko - Gallery Owner

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