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Geraldine Lovato

Tsah-shrti-mah (the stone used for grinding corn) is Gerladine’s given name in Keres. A member of the Corn Clan at San Felipe Pueblo, Geraldine Lovato, née Lucero, gathers her own clay from the reservation, hand coils her pottery, and paints with natural pigments. She has been making pottery since 1993. She credits her husband, Diego Lovato, who is from Santo Domingo Pueblo, for teaching her how to hand coil, sand, and polish her pottery.

Geraldine Lovato
Courtesy School for Advanced Research. Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz.

Although she started making pottery for traditional purposes, Geraldine entered her first show in 2004 at the Santa Fe Indian Market where her work sold out. Due to the economic downturn in the last few years, however, the market for pottery has slowed down. Geraldine has had to go back to work outside of the home and now makes her pottery on the side. Regardless, she still feels that it is important for her to continue her craft. She says, “I make pottery because it brings out the creative passion in me. One of the main reasons I did pottery was for traditional purposes and to bring recognition to San Felipe Pueblo as a potter.”

Geraldine Lovato shares some of the economic challenges of being a potter.

Geraldine is an award-winning artist and her work has been shown at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and at various shops in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her work can also be found in private collections from Canada to China. Geraldine hopes that the future of pottery making at San Felipe will be “recognized for the authenticity of the materials used.” She also hopes for “more women potters and a passion for our people to have the desire to be creative and learn to express themselves.”

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