Accessorize Your Home with Mata Ortiz Pottery

July 19, 2013

Accessorizing your living spaces with pieces of contemporary folk art from Mexico will assist in making your interior design exceptional. Mata Ortiz pottery is Mexico's greatest example of fine ceramics and contemporary folk art and is regularly seen in museums, fine art galleries and other cultural institutions. The pieces are sold for their aesthetic rather than its utilitarian value, in other words they are a showpiece to be displayed not used. These museum quality pieces are completely handmade and incorporate modern, geometric designs with vivid paint and clay colors to produce breathtaking examples. It is quite apparent that each piece of pottery is created by artisans who put a true emphasis on quality over quantity.

Mata Ortiz Pottery originates from the tiny town of Mata Ortiz, in northern Mexico, where world-renowned master potter Juan Quezada created the unique Mata Ortiz style. The pottery is inspired by the designs of the ancient Casas Grandes pueblo people and, as in the ancient tradition, incorporates only local materials found in the nearby mountains; from the coveted clays to the rich oxides used in the paints that adorn the completed pots. Mata Ortiz pottery has quickly developed into its own unique and excitingly varied contemporary art movement.

In the region of what is now the vast desert of Northern Chihuahua there once existed a great cultural and trading center known as Casas Grandes. Similar to the Anasazi at Mesa Verde, this thriving indigenous society seemed to one day vanish without a trace, leaving behind nothing more than deteriorating artifacts and frustrating clues for scientists to speculate over the rich cultural traditions of the Casas Grandes pueblo people. This was true until the early 1970's, when a young man named Juan Quezada resurrected the age-old ceramic traditions of the region by developing an innovative pot-making process known as the single coil method. Miraculously, his only guides were ancient pottery shards found about the tiny village of Mexico's greatest example of fine ceramics and contemporary Mata Ortiz, located just outside the original Casas Grandes ruins.

As in the ancient tradition, the process incorporates only local materials found in the nearby mountains, from the coveted clays to the oxides used in the rich paints that adorn the completed pots. Even more remarkable, each delicate piece is formed without the use of a potter's wheel or other mechanical assistance, yet the finished pots and their intricate geometric designs are often perfectly symmetrical. The end result is often worthy of standing alongside the art of even our most talented contemporary artists. Yet remember it was Juan Quezada just 30 years ago that resurrected and ultimately perfected the ancient craft, thereby inspiring the citizens of his small village and bringing broad international recognition to their forgotten ceramic tradition.

As with all art, when investing in your new piece of Mata Ortiz Pottery for your home, keep in mind to buy with your heart and let the piece talk to you.

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