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Lonnie Vigil

Biography to Display: 

1949Born Nambe Pueblo, New Mexico


Business Administration, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico


—1982 Financial Consultant

1982—Studio Potter


Lonnie Vigil focused on using micaceous clay he dug and processed on Nambe Pueblo Land.  Micaceous clay contains mica chips that result in a shiny surface and allows it to be used to make the only pots that can be used for cooking.

Vigil resigned from a job as a financial consultant in 1982 and returned to Nambe Pueblo. He learned pottery techniques quietly without telling his family who were all involved in pottery making beginning with his great-grandmother, Perfilia Anaya Pena.  In 1994, he was the first recipient of the Ron and Susan Dubin Native American Artist Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research which allowed him to refine his skills. His pots are based on traditional forms, however they often end up with asymmetrical rims. He seeks to enrich the flashing that occurs on the surfaces of the unglazed pots during the firing.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts


Bibliography to Display: 

 Anderson, Duane. All That Glitters: The Emergence of Native American Micaceous Art Pottery in Northern New Mexico. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 1999.

Bernstein, Bruce. "Potters & patrons: the creation of Pueblo art pottery". American Indian Art Magazine. (1994).

Grimes, John R., Christian F. Feest, and Mary Lou Curran. 10 Elegant Jars by Nambe Pueblo Potter Lonnie Vigil. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2002.

Grimes et al. “Power and Beauty.” American Indian Magazine (winter 2003).

King, Charles S., Peter Held, and Will Wilson. Spoken ThroughCclay: Native Pottery of the Southwest: the Eric S. Dobkin Collection. 2017. 

New Mexico CultureNet, and Chamiza Foundation. Living Portraits: New Mexico Artists & Writers. Santa Fe, NM: New Mexico CultureNet, 2003. 

Peabody Essex Museum and Santa Fe Indian Market. Indian Market: New Directions in Southwestern Native American Pottery. Salem, MA: Peabody Essex Museum, 2002.




Typical Marks
Date: 2000
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Coiled (Earthenware, micaceous.)
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Coiled (Earthenware, micaceous.)
Surface Technique: Burnished
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson

Citation: Clark, Donald. "The Marks Project." Last modified March 19, 2023.