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).
-New Mexico State Fair
-Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies