Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art
 Introduction  Clay  Leather  Metal  Paper  Plant Fibers
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Pre-Hispanic-style Dog by Guillermo Ros Alcala

Pre-Hispanic-style Dog, 1997
Clay: Molded, modeled, burnished
Colima, Colima
Market by Irene Aguilar Alcantara

Market, 1997
Clay: Molded, modeled, polychromatic
Ocotlná de Morelos, Oaxaca

Mesoamerican artists have extracted, kneaded, shaped, decorated, and fired clay into art for more than 2,000 years. Today, artists in Atzompa, Oaxaca, Metepec, and other pottery-making centers continue this rich ceramic tradition, producing a range of ceremonial, ornamental, and utilitarian pieces.

Mexico’s potters often decorate their pieces with images drawn from historical, religious, and traditional stories. Representations of plants and animals as well as figurative designs connect their art to pieces produced by the indigenous people of ancient Mexico.

Artists share similar methods for making pottery. But the selection of shapes, designs, colors, and finishes varies, allowing for individual creativity and unique regional styles and specialties. More than 11 decorating methods are used, including punteado: a technique in which artists use a squirrel’s tail to paint small, uniform dots on clay before it is baked in a kiln. In these ways, Mexico’s great master potters transform a humble raw material into a colorful art form.

For more information, please select here.

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Great master
Salvador Vázquez Carmona
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