Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mata Ortiz Pottery

In Northern Mexico, a remarkable ceramic arts revival is taking place. There in the village of Mata Ortiz, in Chihuahua Mexico, master potter Juan Quezada, inspired by ancient potsherds,
is leading a renaissance of the region's native art tradition. The contemporary work which parallels the art of indigenous ceramists to the north, similar to the work of Native American artists in the Southwestern United States such as the Hopi, Zuni, Acoma and others, have come to be known as Mata Ortiz Pottery. Pieces vary from those which focus on traditional designs to pots in which innovative style is featured. Mata Ortiz pottery ranks among the finest contemporary ceramics found anywhere in the world. Collections are seen in museums throughout North America. Each pot is made from locally dug clay. The Mata Ortiz clay is very plastic and has high resistance to the thermal shock during a firing.

There are well over five hundred potters making highly collectible earthenware, including fine poly chrome pieces, black-on-black, red pottery and animal figures. These potters continually experiment with new styles, clays, and paints. All of the ceramic pieces are hand-built, they are coiled pots or ollas. They use brushes handmade from children's hair and this allows for very fine line work. The firing process is a dung firing, cow manure is the preferred fuel for low temperature firings.  How Olla's are made.
Etched and bass relief Olla by Eduardo Olivas Quintana 
Artist Salvador Baca's black on black etched Olla

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