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Juanita C. Fragua

Mother of major, prize-winning potters and a nationally honored sculptor (Cliff Fragua), she herself is noted for her importance in reviving traditional pottery-making at Jemez Pueblo.
As well as teaching her children (including Betty Jean Fragua and Glendora Fragua), she is known for the elegant, traditional, stone-polished pieces she produces herself – especially melon pots and wedding vases, adorned with her own designs. Many of her designs are inspired by her membership in the Corn Clan. Juanita uses a dense black, mineral paint, whose source she keeps a secret, on her beige clay backgrounds, along with red clay slips. This matriarch of Jemez arts was taught to paint by the legendary Al Momaday, and has mentored a long list of Jemez potters. She has just been named a Local Treasure, an award to be conferred in the Fall of 2015.