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Alan Lasiloo learned to make pottery at the Institute of American Indian Art.

He continued his education at the American College for the Applied Arts in Los Angeles where he studied fashion design. “I try to utilize what I have learned about fashion design by using lines, curves and pleats in my clay sculptures. This creates movement and brings life to the pieces.”

After these formal studies, he returned home to Zuni Pueblo in 1999. Alan taught himself how to use the white clay of Zuni Pueblo that he remembered his grandmother using when she was alive. He first entered his work to be judged at Santa Fe’s Indian Market in 2007. By incorporating philosophies of fashion design while testing form and firing techniques, he has earned numerous awards for his pottery.

With the white clay, Alan made many “mistakes,” but he worked with the results and transformed what some would consider errors into beautiful features of his designs. One of his innovations has given his white clay works a tactile, silky sheen. Other innovations involve firing techniques. Alan has found a way to enhance streaking, transforming a common firing mistake into an appealing part of his designs. He also continues to make micaceous clay pieces. These emphasize painted images, despite the difficulty of painting on the porous micacious clay. Alan says the images require six or more coats of paint and a steady hand.