Joseph Lonewolf (1929- )

Before becoming a renowned pottery sculptor, Joseph Lonewolf worked in Colorado as a precision machinist. It was in that trade that he learned that various chemicals in natural Colorado clays produced different colors when imbedded in metals and then heated or fired. This knowledge and technique was the basis for his distinctive entry into the art of incising and coloring of clay pottery.

Joseph is the son of Camilio Sunflower Tafoya and the brother of Grace Medicine Flower; both his father and sister were well-established Pueblo pottery artists when he began his work in the early 1970s at age 42. Joseph's very early work was created when he returned to the Santa Clara Pueblo from Colorado for visits with his family; this was his experimental phase. It was during this phase of his career that he created two Eternity Bowls, one in black with sienna and one totally in sienna.

His next phase of artistic design was the creation of intricately incised Mimbres designs in miniature pieces of sienna pottery. This work led to his utilization of the effect of chemical treatments to the clay when it was fired. The result was the production of miniatures with multi-color designs, a style which he is still known for today in his current work. Although many Pueblo artists have tried, none has matched the artistry, precision, or color perfection of Joseph Lonewolf.

Refer to the May 1974 issue of Arizona Highways for pictures of his early art work.

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