For my English-speaking friends, something about Paquimé pottery…

Thanks for visiting this blog of mine.  I sincerely appreciate it and hope that you find something interesting or inspiring that can touch your heart or your mind.  One of the purposes of this space in the web is to promote the PAQUIME CERAMICS, also known as MATA ORTIZ, after the name of the small town where this kind of pottery is produced, called Juan Mata Ortiz, municipio Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico.  An American art curator and scientist, Mr. Spencer McCallum, is the “discoverer” and still a promotor of Mata Ortiz ceramics, which has drastically changed the life of the inhabitants of Mata Ortiz as nowadays most of the people of the village are dedicated to the production of these fine “objets d’art”.

The PAQUIME ceramics is done copying, so to speak, the primitive ways of the early Paquimé culture, which according to the specialists “vanished” around the 1400 A.D.  In the l950’s a man called Juan Quezada, a humble peasant of the region, put himself to try to reproduce the ceramic pieces the archeologists were finding in the Paquimé archaeological site.  Juan practiced and through trial and error he could manage to produce some samples of “ollas” using the ancient techniques and the materials naturally found nearby.  He gave a couple of those ollas to some women who would take them “del otro lado” (to the other side of the border) and somehow the ollitas ended up in a gallery somewhere in the South of the United States.  Mr. McCallum saw them, appreciated the value of its manufacturing and went after those who had made the unique objects.  He found Juan Quezada, told him he would sponsor his full-time dedication to the task, and the rest is history…

Today, Mata Ortiz ceramics is acknowledged as one of the best in the world, and for good reasons.  What I believe is most surprising is that the Mata Ortiz artists have not had an “academic” training in art, so their inspiration comes from the bottom of their souls. Amazing.

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