Oaxaca’s cultural identity is defined, in part, by her ceramic arts. For thousands of years before the Spanish conquest, indigenous artisans were giving shape to local clay to form functional cooking and eating vessels, images of dieties for worship and jewelry for personal adornment.
Now, after six years of operating from various temporary locations, La Tiendita del Barro/1050 grados and Innovando la Tradicion recently opened a gallery to promote its ceramic arts cooperative and new eco-tourism program. It is located at the corner of plaza de la cruz de piedra, Rufino Tamayo 800-C and Xolotl, near the 16th century aqueducts and Calle Garcia Virgil.
I want to say that this is social entrepreneurism, activist art. The program, developed by talented young Oaxaqueños, is committed to sustainable development. Here you will find stunning pottery that satisfies both a classical and contemporary aesthetic. The work is sculptural and refined, smooth and simple. Emphasis is on form followed by function. The result is timeless beauty. The cookware and serving pieces are lead-free and can be used over a gas burner or in the oven.
If you’ve never seen a Oaxaca potter at work, here’s a video of a traditional technique:
Innovando la Tradicion is organizing half-day public tours to various villages, where visitors will meet potters, participate in hands-on demonstrations, and have an opportunity to buy directly from the artisans. Artisans receive 50% of the participant fees that go toward improving their workshop/studio space. The rest goes toward program administration.
Join Norma’s Pottery Tour with Innovando la Tradicion Monday, January 5, 2015, Cost: 629 MXN pesos
I can’t participate in any of the January public programs already scheduled and I really want to go on this tour. So, I’m inviting YOU to join me for a private tour on January 5. Are you interested? Send me an email. All the funds go directly to Innovando la Tradicion and I will send you registration information as soon as I hear from you! Space for 5 people. Reserve before December 15.