Handmade Natural Clay Pottery
I am a Native American potter, from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. I have been making storytellers and other figurines since 1969, when I was twelve years old. My mother, the late Grace L. Fragua, taught me the traditional techniques. My work is a unique blend of the traditional and contemporary styles, producing one-of-a-kind pieces.
The storytellers range from the traditional mother figure surrounded by children to the humorous Koshares or ceremonial clowns, and horse storytellers. I also make friendship pots, buffalo with riders, corn maidens, animal figurines, nativity sets and Christmas tree ornaments.
The materials used in the making of these pottery pieces are native clay and temper found around Jemez Pueblo. Natural clay is also used as colors to paint each piece. The process of preparing the clay and sand includes drying, grinding and sifting before the clay is mixed with water. Each piece is then hand-molded and air-dried. The product is finished in a natural tan-buff color, hand-painted, and fired.
One of my storytellers won a first place blue ribbon at the 2014 New Mexico State Fair, and one of my horses won a second place ribbon. A 24 1/2-inch tall lady storyteller with 217 children – the largest I have made – won first place at the Gallup Ceremonial Art Festival in 1992. In 2005, I was named Artist of the Year by the prestigious Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, New Mexico.