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Joseph Fragua

Joseph Fragua is a full blooded Native American Indian. He was born into the Jemez Pueblo in 1977. Joseph was inspired to learn the art of working with natural clay by assisting Sharon Sarracino construct her pottery. Sharon shared with Joseph all the fundamentals of working with clay and using the ancient traditional methods of hand coiling just like their ancestors before them. Joseph was quoted as saying: “I enjoy working with clay because it is a part of me that I am giving to the world, and the reactions on the faces of those who admire my work inspire me to become more creative with my ideas”.

Joseph specializes in contemporary hand coiled pottery. He gathers his raw clumps of clay from within the Jemez Pueblo. He breaks down the clumps of clay and cleans the fine sands of clay for impurities. Then, Joseph hand mixes the clay with sand and water, then, he begins the hand coiling process by rolling the clay into snake like coils and begins hand building a clay vessel. Once the vessel is built he sets the piece out to dry, this is a crucial stage because if it dries to quickly the vessel may crack. Once the vessel has dried, he sands his piece down to give it a smooth finish. Then, he begins the painting process with a stem of a yucca plant that has been fashioned into a brush. His designs include flowers hummingbirds, butterflies, eagle feathers, and intricate geometric designs. He on occasion with hand sculpt a kachina maiden with a beautiful head dress on his pottery. Finally, when the painting is done he fires his pottery in a kiln so that the painting doesn’t rub off. Joseph enjoys hand coiling all types of clay art. He accepts new challenges eagerly. He signs his pottery as: Fragua, Jemez. He is related to: Margaret Toya (grandmother).