A better name for Pottery of Mexico would really be Pottery Making of Mexico because it’s really more than just a travelogue for the armchair potter. In this DVD you’ll be treated to working studios in two small pottery towns located in the southwestern part of Mexico where they still use techniques from pre-Columbian times.

 

The pottery from Patamban and San José de Gracia is made for decorative purposes as well as for use in the home. From practical cookware to the elegant pineapples of Patamban, the work is unpretentious and the methods simple. So, get ready for a journey to another place and time that you can bring back to your own studio.

 

Runtime: 40 Minutes


 

 

 

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Back to the basics

In this video, a potter and a filmmaker work together to beautifully document potters in two neighboring villages—Patamban and San José de Gracia. This documentary covers how the potters produce their low-fire pieces from start to finish. In the first segment, you’ll marvel at the simple step-by-step technique for making slabs used for making bowls formed over bisque molds. working with stone tools and using a simple white slip decoration, this first demonstration proves how little you need to create.

   

Starting from scratch

Making a pineapple pot is really a step-by-step for handbuilding a large multi-part form with sprig decoration. To make this piece, potters collect local clay from a surface pit where different clays are selected and blended together during the dry season. The process of hand mixing clay from scratch is really something every potter should at least understand. Once the clay is ready, slabs are made, but unlike the first potter who demonstrated the bowl technique on a bisque drape mold, this potter uses a two-part plaster mold to form the body of the piece. After the two halves are put together, the interior is sealed and a base and top formed and attached.


 

 

Sprig is in the air

The time-consuming part for the pineapple pot is the texture, which consists of scores of square-shaped textured sprigs to create the pineapple surface. Working with simple tools and at a measured pace, the potters slowly transform a simple form into an elegant work of art.

   

Within easy reach

The glazing of the work and the loading and firing of the kiln really reinforces the notion that pottery can be a really simple craft with beautiful results. The kiln used here is based on an ancient design and can get up to about cone 08, which is all these potters are looking for. And while we have all the amenities of a modern studio, it’s comforting to know that capturing the spirit of another place and time is within easy reach.

 

 
Purchase the DVD ON SALE $19.95
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