It is said that Lonnie Vigil essentially jump-started the revival of traditional pottery making at Nambe Pueblo after it had almost died. He is also the only traditional potter working with micaceous clay to ever win Best of Show at the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market (2001). Back in 1994 he won the first ever Ron and Susan Dubin Native American Artist Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research. And he didn't start out in life thinking he'd ever be a potter.
After high school Lonnie attended Eastern New Mexico University and earned a degree in business administration. Then he became a financial and business consultant for a few years in New Mexico before moving to Washington DC. He made good money at it but came to a point where he realized it wasn't "feeding his soul." After attending "Night of the First Americans" at the Kennedy Center he was inspired to return to Nambe where he was essentially organically steered into working with clay. And that's when Clay Mother began to talk to him and guide his path. Since then he has won top awards at several Santa Fe Indian Markets.