Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Doña Rosa and her black pottery

San Bartolo Coyotepec is one of the most important pottery producing villages in the valley of Oaxaca. Located 8 km. from Oaxaca; this village is renowned for its black clay. Doña Rosa Real de nieto stood out as a personality in Coyotepec for many years. Recognized with medals and diplomas her work was appreciated by collectors and her fame surpassed the borders of México. She gave black pottery a shine when she accidentally discovered that it can be polished, this is where what today we call black pottery came from. In her last years she continued transforming clay into beautiful pieces with the strength and abilities of her best years. She worked in her shop demonstrating her abilities to those who came to visit her until the day of her death in 1980. Her son now, with a masters ability, continues the family tradition.
The potters of Coyotepec continue to use their traditional method of turning pots without a wheel, this consists on two concave clay plates, one upside down supporting the other. This method is of prehispanic inheritance. The pieces are molded on this device. The process takes 20 to 30 days and goes from molding to decoration, to slow drying in closed rooms, polishing with a quartz stone and finally to baking where the pieces acquire their black color depending on the baking time.
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