Artist Profile: Emma Lujan

Emma LujanEmma Lujan’s cazuelas (Spanish for cooking pots) pottery reflect her heritage and creativity. This Cleveland, N.M. artist has 20-plus years of experience creating colorful, functional pottery. Her trademark is the vibrant, earthy hues in her cone 6-fired ceramics. She creates Northern New Mexico pottery, specializing in functional wares. Her work is available at El Zocalo in Las Vegas, Mora Spinning Mill and at the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Show.

Q. What art medium do you work in?
A. My work is ceramics, specifically functional pottery fired at cone 6, which results in stoneware.

Q. Why that medium?
A. When I started learning pottery, 20 years ago, the choices were cone 04, a low fired method, almost like a Mexican pottery, or a mid-range stoneware. I loved the functionality of mid-range because it was food safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, all the aspects of a functional dish.

Q. What inspires you?
A. I am inspired by vibrant colors and my heritage, which is 47 percent native American. I am attracted to red and blues, yellows and greens. I love purple dishes too.

Q. What is your preferred work environment?
A. My house that we built in Cleveland when we retired, has a full pottery studio for myCeramic Bowl use. Perfect for production pottery. In addition I have a home gallery.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
A. Three people have inspired me. The first is Andrea Holsen, she was my first pottery teacher. She loved the clay work, whether it was hand building or teaching the wheel.  The second was my glaze teacher, Loetta Lowman. She loved to make glazes, which inspired my love for transforming color. The third was Bill VanGilder. He is a master potter. I took a class from him.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as an artist?
A. That my work is personal. I love that it is created with the basic elements that God has provided, earth, water, air, and fire.

Q. Where can you work be purchased?
A. At El Zocalo in Las Vegas, N.M., and various shows in Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Socorro.

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