Barbara and Joseph Cerno

Joseph Cerno was born on January 30, 1947, Barbara on October 20, 1951 (Barbara is also half Acoma (her mother: Esther Gunn Hayah, Acoma) and half Hopi (her father: William David Hayah of Polacca, Hopi)). Barbara and Joseph have been making traditional, hand-made Acoma pottery since their late teens... well over 40 years. Both learned the ancient art of pottery making from Joseph's mother, Santana Cimmeron Cerno, although she didn't encourage either of them to work with clay as they were growing up.

Barbara and Joseph started making miniatures together in 1969. Over the next few years they graduated to making larger and larger pots until today, they are known for making some of the largest Acoma pots ever made. They won their first ribbon (a 1st Prize) at the Gallup InterTribal Ceremonials in 1971 but that was only the beginning of a long, award-winning career for both of them. They have gone on to earn awards at every major Southwest Pottery show including Santa Fe Indian Market and The New Mexico State Fair. They are known especially for their large storage jars.

Usually Joseph does the vessel-making part and Barbara does the painting but every now and then one or another will make their own piece from end-to-end. For both of them that's usually a seed pot. There's now a highly regarded Joseph Cerno, Jr. making pottery, too. They usually sign their pieces: "Acoma, NM B.J. Cerno" or "Acoma, New Mexico Barbara & Joseph Cerno".

Black and white medallion design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar with black and white medallion design
 
Black and white geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar with black and white geometric design
9 3/4 in H by 11 1/2 in Dia
Parrot, rainbow and geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar with parrot, rainbow and geometric design
6 1/4 in H by 9 1/4 in Dia
Parrot,rainbow and geometric design on a polychrome olla
Polychrome olla with parrot, rainbow and geometric design
12 in H by 15 1/4 in Dia
Parrot and floral design on a giant polychrome seedpot
Giant polychrome seedpot with parrot and floral design
7 in H by 15 1/2 in Dia
Deer, heart-line, rainbow and geometric design on a polychrome olla
Polychrome olla with deer, heart-line, rainbow and geometric design
11 in H by 12 in Dia
Parrot, rainbow and floral design on a polychrome storage jar
Polychrome storage jar decorated with parrot, rainbow and floral design
6 1/2 in H by 8 3/4 in Dia
Parrot, floral and geometric design on a polychrome storage jar
Polychrome storage jar decorated with parrot, floral and geometric design
9 3/4 in H by 11 3/4 in Dia
Floral, rainbow, parrot and geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar decorated with parrot, floral, rainbow and geometric design
6 1/2 in H by 8 in Dia
Insect, turtle and lizard design on a black and white seed pot
Black and white seed pot decorated with lizard, insect and turtle design
4 3/4 in H by 6 1/2 in Dia
Turtle, insect, lizard, fine line and geometric design on a black and white seed pot
Black and white seed pot decorated with lizard, insect, fine line, turtle and geometric design
4 1/2 in H by 6 1/4 in Dia
Traditional Zuni geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar decorated with a traditional Zuni geometric design
9 1/4 in H by 12 in Dia
Fine line, medallion and geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar decorated with a medallion, fine line and geometric design
8 1/2 in H by 10 in Dia
Floral, rainbow, parrot and geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar decorated with a 3-panel parrot, floral, rainbow and geometric design
6 1/2 in H by 7 1/4 in Dia
3-panel floral and parrot design on a polychrome seed pot
Polychrome seed pot decorated with 3-panel parrot and floral design
5 1/2 in H by 13 1/4 in Dia
Rainbow, parrot and geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar decorated with parrot, rainbow and geometric design
8 in H by 8 1/4 in Dia