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Color en México
Arts and Crafts of Mexico
The Pottery of Mata Ortiz
Mata ortiz pottery
This checkered vase is a beautiful example of Mata Oritz pottery
Also of interest
OneWorld Magazine presents The Potters of Mata Ortiz
Arts and Crafts of Mexico
Color en México

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Mata Ortiz is a small town in northern Chihuahua, Mexico, famous for the very distinctive, and beautiful, styles of ceramics produced there. Collectively, these styles are now known as 'Mata Ortiz' pottery or ceramics.
The pottery of Mata Ortiz is a revival of a pre-hispanic pottery tradition. This style of pottery was orginally part of the 'Casas Grandes' culture - an agricultural group centered at the site of Paquimé, 'The Valley of the Caves', northern Chihuaha, México (Sierra Madre Occidental).
Up until 25 years ago the pottery of Mata Ortiz was a 'lost art'. The resurrection of the art from was mainly at the instigation of one man: Juan Quezada.
Marbled clay bowl Walking around the local hills one day, Juan Quezada had the good fortune to uncover some ancient ceramic pots. Juan was so struck by the exquiste beauty of these objects that he found it hard to keep them out of his mind. One of his more perplexing questions was 'How could works of such beauty be fashioned from the available materials in such a barren environment?'. To find the answer he set upon a monumental quest: To discover, and reproduce, the ancient secrets used in the creation of these fine works!
Thus began a long and painful process of learning an ancient craft with no guide except the beautiful pots he had found. Juan carried out experiement after experiement, trying to find the magical processes that his forebears had used in their art. In his search, Juan captured the imagination of other village members too and eventually the pottery of Mata Ortiz was born! 
Fine checkered vase Every artist in Mata Ortiz has their own, very distinctive, style but all are based on the principle techniques discovered by Juan Quezada. For this Juan is acknowledged as being the founder of the Mata Ortiz ceramics, an art form that has been reaching higher and higher levels. In fact many Mata Ortiz pieces are now sold for thousands of dollars!

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Cuba - Rotorua, New Zealand - Christ Church, Dublin - Monument Valley, Arizona - Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico - Staffa, Scotland - Huamantla, Tlaxcala, Mexico - Costa Rica - Tule Tree, Oaxaca, Mexico - Fiesta, Mexico City - Making Lacquer, Olinalá, Mexico - Talavera Ceramics, Puebla, Mexico - Mata Ortiz Pottery, Mexico - Lebanon
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