This is a potter’s adventure among the villages and artisans of Michoacan, one of the most diverse pottery areas in Mexico and a beautiful landscape of lakes, volcanoes, colonial cities and mud plastered villages. We will visit Purepecha potters in seven indigenous villages whose techniques range from purely pre-Colombian in heritage to colonial Spanish. The pottery covers the spectrum from functional cookware to ornately decorated gallery pieces and just about everything in between.
Our travels will take us to a village that produces four-foot tall urns using pre-Colombian techniques, a village where the finest glaze work is hand painted with 150 dots per inch and the workshops of potters who create bizarre and fascinating sculptures from clay. We’ll visit villages of potters around lake Patzcuaro to see how they form their pots using 450 year old Spanish methods introduced by a visionary friar and learn the tricks used by Hilario Alejos, an artisan featured in the book Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art book, to create the ornate pineapple sculptures of San Jose de la Gracia. We’ll visit the richly textured studio/home of another Great Masters artisan, Neftali Ayunqua and sit down with him for a homemade meal in the courtyard. .
Potter in Cocucho
We will focus our visit on potters who are making the shift away from traditional, lead based glazes and meet the folks at Barro Sin Plomo (www.barrosinplomo.org) who have been promoting this shift. There will also be visits to Purepecha ruins, markets, and, with our base camps in the quiet and enchanting colonial town of Patzcuaro and the Spanish jewel of Morelia with its grand plaza, monumental cathedral and fine museums, we will see the loveliest side of old Mexico.
Tags: beautiful landscape
, Folk Art book
, pre-Colombian techniques
, Purepecha ruins
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