Thomas Natseway is a potter from Laguna Pueblo (born April 19, 1953). When he was working as a journalist in the early 1980s he interviewed Charmae Shields, a potter from Acoma Pueblo. They fell in love and were soon married. Thomas moved to Charmae's home at Acoma and learned to make pottery from his wife, Charmae, (b. 1958) and her mother, Ethel Shields, both well respected and award-winning Acoma potters.
Thomas began making his miniature creations in the early 1980s. His works range in size from one-quarter to three-quarters inch in height and diameter. Each vessel is made from Acoma clay dug from a deposit some distance from the pueblo. At first he was decorating his miniatures with traditional Acoma fine-line designs but after doing some research into old Mimbres, Anasazi, Hohokam, and Sikyatki (Hopi) motifs he got very interested in recreating those prehistoric designs. He also sometimes incorporates designs of contemporary pueblo pottery.
Awards Thomas has Won:
- 1999 Santa Fe Indian Market 2nd Place
- 1998 Santa Fe Indian Market 1st & 2nd Place
- 1996 Santa Fe Indian Market (3) 2nd Place
- 1995 Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Class
- 1993 Santa Fe Indian Market 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Place
- 1992 Santa Fe Indian Market 2nd & (2) 3rd Place
- 1991 Santa Fe Indian Market (2) 1st & (2) 2nd Place
- 1989 Santa Fe Indian Market 1st & (2) 2nd Place