Joseph Lonewolf

Joseph Lonewolf
Joseph Lonewolf in 2009

Joseph Lonewolf was born into Santa Clara Pueblo on January 26, 1932. His father was Camilio Sunflower Tafoya, his mother Agapita Silva. Joseph learned about the basics of traditional pottery making from his mother and about pottery carving from his father. He was giving miniature incised pots to his friends as a child but when he went out into the world as an adult, he became a precision mining equipment machinist in Colorado. Then a back injury forced him to retire.

Back at the pueblo, Joseph took up making pottery and many of his works have been referred to as "pottery jewels." Joseph was an early innovator with sgraffito and bas relief works. He was also noted for his use of Mimbres designs on sienna miniatures and for his use of Colorado clay slips to achieve other colors. As much as Joseph sometimes used Mimbres elements in his designs, all his designs were one-of-a-kind.

Joseph has passed on but he passed his learning on to his children, Susan "Snowflake" Romero, Rosemary "Apple Blossom" Lonewolf and Greg Lonewolf.

Sgraffito butterfly design on a black seedpot
Black seedpot with sgraffito butterfly design
3/4 in H by 1 in Dia
Dated: 1980
Sgraffito animals and evolution design on a red seedpot
Red seedpot with sgraffito animals and evolution design
1 1/4 in h by 1 1/4 in Dia
Dated: 1986
Sgraffito squirrel, butterfly and geometric design on a polychrome seedpot
Polychrome seedpot with sgraffito squirrel, butterfly and geometric design
2 1/4 in H by 2 1/2 in Dia
Sgraffito and painted eagle dancer design on a polychrome seedpot
Polychrome seedpot with sgraffito and painted eagle dancer design
1 1/4 in H by 1 1/4 in Dia
Sgraffito kokopelli, feather and dragonfly design on a black jar
Black jar decorated with a sgraffito dragonfly, kokopelli and feather design
2 1/4 in H by 2 1/4 in Dia
Sgraffito frog catching a mosquito design on a red seed pot
Red seed pot decorated with sgraffito frog catching a mosquito design
1 1/2 in H by 1 1/4 in Dia
Sgraffito and painted wolf and geometric design on a polychrome seed pot
Polychrome seed pot decorated with a sgraffito and painted wolf and geometric design
1 in H by 1 in Dia
Sgraffito squirrel motif on a polychrome seed pot
Polychrome seed pot decorated with a sgraffito squirrel motif
1 3/4 in H by 1 3/4 in Dia
Sgraffito and pianted lizard, horned toad and geometric design on a polychrome seed pot
Polychrome seed pot decorated with a sgraffito and painted lizard, horned toad and geometric design
1 1/4 in H by 1 3/4 in Dia
Sgraffito quail and sunface design on a red on red seed pot
Red seedpot with sgraffito and painted quail and sun face design
2 in H by 2 1/4 in Dia
2009 photo of Joseph Lonewolf courtesy of the
Pottery photos courtesy of Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery