BLACK POTTERY, San Bartolo Coyotepec, Mexico

BLACK POTTERY, San Bartolo Coyotepec, Mexico
 Travel makes you humble and appreciative of everything that’s around you.  Kaylee Pulgar
The black pottery was one of the reasons I wanted to go to Oaxaca. I had seen some of the pottery in other places and loved it. I made sure I brought plenty of pesos with me. I was prepared!
Originally the pottery was a matte grey and was very sturdy, allowing it to be hit without breaking. The black pottery is more fragile but popular with Mexican folk art collectors. In the 1950’s Doña Rosa discovered that she could change the colour and shine of the clay by polishing the pieces with quartz and firing them at a slightly lower temperature.


Painting of  Doña Rosa
We arrived at the original workshop and home of Doña Rosa Real where her daughter and grandchildren stage demonstrations for tourists. Watching the demonstration certainly gave me more appreciation for how much work goes into making one piece. Modern potter tools are not used. After the piece is shaped, it is set to dry in a well-insulated room to protect from sudden temperature changes. Drying can take up to three weeks. If the piece is to be polished so that it turns black when finished, it is done when the piece is almost dry. The surface is then lightly moistened and then rubbed with a curved quartz stone. It is at this stage that the carving and handles are made. The piece is then fired in underground pits or above ground kilns.


After the demonstration, we were taken to the shop. I was speechless which is rare for me. There were rows and rows of pottery and when I saw the prices the only thing I could say was, “I am in trouble.”


Notice the ball inside the pottery



Yes the price for this was 180.00 pesos which is approximately 16.00 US

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