Joseph Lonewolf, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter


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Joseph Lonewolf (1932-2014) signature

Picture of Joseph Lonewolf Santa Clara Pueblo

If any potter has mastered the technique of sgraffito pottery, it must be agreed that it is Joseph Lonewolf of Santa Clara Pueblo.  He created the finest designs in sgraffito ever put on the face of a pottery vessel.

A nephew of Margaret Tafoy, Joseph Lonewolf (1932 - 2014) was from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico.  Lonewolf started a career as a mechanic and then became a trained machinist, making precision parts with fine engraving.  It was this skill that he used to transfer his talent from mechanical objects to precision-carved pottery. 

In 1971, Lonewolf returned to Santa Clara Pueblo and put his skills to making pottery as had been taught to him by his mother, Agapita Silva Tafoya.  His father, Camilio Tafoya, had taken him as a child into the mountains where he witnessed petroglyphs carved into caves and on walls of cliffs.  Lonewolf took the lessons of his mother and field trips with his father and combined the two to arrive at intricately-carved designs on pottery.  

If any potter has mastered the technique of sgraffito pottery, it must be agreed that it is Joseph Lonewolf as he creates the finest designs in sgraffito ever put on the face of a pottery vessel.

Photo of Joseph lonewolf courtesy of Rick Dillingham in his book: Fourteen Families In Pueblo Pottery.

Relative Links: Margaret Tafoya,  Santa Clara PueblopotteryAgapita Silva TafoyaCamilio TafoyaRick Dillingham

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