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 Lonnie Vigil  (1949 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico / Mexico      Known for: micaceous Indian pottery

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Blue Rainbow, Gunmetal Micaceous Storage Jar
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A full-time, self-taught potter since the 1980s, Lonnie Vigil is a native of Nambe Pueblo where he grew up "close to the earth" in a family whose roots went back for generations with some of the members making a living by raising cattle.

After high school, Lonnie Vigil went to Denver where he earned a junior accounting degree, having followed a path to fulfill his mother's advice to become a business person. On a scholarship, he entered the business administration program at Eastern New Mexico University, took a job as a loan officer at the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Santa Fe, and then was promoted to a similar job at a national level in Washington DC.

However, a defining moment was attending a Native American gathering at the Kennedy Center, and in 1982, he headed back to Nambe to get in touch with his own culture and to pursue his creative instincts. His gathering of "glittery mica-studded clay" led to his commitment to that material for his signature micaceous pottery.

He gathers the clay in the spring and fall and never in the winter "so as not to disturb sleeping earth". Working with his brother, Larry, he mixes the clay with sand to make it workable and then shapes his pots. He does the firing with wood from dead trees, and the colors range from tan to red to black.

His pottery has earned him distinction at Santa Fe's 2001 Indian Market where his entries were selected Best of Show. He says that of his pottery that "the form has to be very strong" and simple, and that is the way he likes to live his life.

Dottie Indyke, 'Lonnie Vigil', "Southwest Art", January 2002

He is a self-taught artist who makes his large vessels by digging his own clay, hand-coiling the pieces and firing them outdoors. He shows his work at his studio in Nambe, and in 2001, he won top honors at Indian Market in Santa Fe.

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