Joseph Latoma

Joseph Latoma

(1966 -)

 

Joseph Latoma is the son of Joe Latoma of Zuni Pueblo and a member of the Corn and Water Clans. His mother is Margaret Chavez of San Felipe Pueblo, providing his matriarchal link to San Felipe.

 

Joseph Latoma is interested in reintroducing traditional San Felipe pottery, but because there is so little documented historic pottery from San Felipe, he has had to create his designs from memories of the work of the older generation from both San Felipe and Zuni pueblo. The only potter remaining in San Felipe Pueblo in the past 50 years was Candelaria Montana who died about 20 years ago.

 

Latoma is self-taught, experimenting and learning through trial and error using local clay. In addition to silversmithing, he has been making clay pots for more than 30 years. The artist specializes in polychrome ollas, replicating prehistoric artifacts with a hand-coiling technique. Each design has a story behind it. Joseph says, "I make pottery to keep San Felipe traditions alive. It's important to me that people know that this pottery exists." 

Selected awards include New Mexico State Fair, including Best of Show in 1980.

 

First and Second Place ribbons in pottery with his wife, Nona Latoma, at the Twelfth Annual Prescott Indian Art Market in 2009

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