Oaxaca Pottery Exhibit
Twenty years of searching for pottery in villages of Oaxaca, some of which were so remote they were not even on maps, has resulted in an enormous collection of traditional styles of pots. Eric Mindling created a wonderful exhibit of samples from his collection that visitors can enjoy at the Centro de Artes San Agustín (CASA) in San Agustín Etla.
The pieces represent 36 styles of pottery from 60 villages of Oaxaca. Styles changed from region to region, as did the methods for creating them. Eric stated that many of the styles were passed down through families from generation to generation, and it’s possible that the first family member to make a particular style lived 3700 years ago! Many styles have been in continual production in Oaxaca for 400 years.
During his many years of traveling deep into the mountains of Oaxaca, learning about the people’s lives and the history and use of their products, Eric developed a deep admiration for the skilled artisans who created simple yet beautiful and utilitarian pottery.
Eric’s book, “Barro y fuego, El arte de la alfarería de Oaxaca,” (Spanish only at this time) tells the story of Oaxacan potters. Even if you don’t read Spanish, the superb photography depicts all the processes and artisans at work.
“Oaxaca has a rich heritage that has been unappreciated for centuries and deserves to be recognized. It’s time to celebrate this pottery and learn the wisdom of the artisans.” Eric Mindling.
Note: I first met Eric when on a tour with his company, “Traditions Mexico.” During the tour (Fiber Arts of the Oaxacan Coast) we traveled to several villages where rural folk artisans of indigenous Oaxaca and Guerrero live and produce their extraordinary weavings. Eric’s great respect for the people and the excellent rapport he has established with them creates an easy-going atmosphere where villagers and visitors feel comfortable sharing their lives. Check out traditionsmexico.com.