Mata Ortiz Pottery Casas Grandes Polychrome Pot or Olla with Intricate Design, Mexican Indigenous Art

$388.00

This Mata Ortiz pot is stand out for many reasons. It is hand shaped, with super narrow neck and mouth, which give it modernist look. The lines of the form are beautiful, especially when you can see them against a contrasting wall, and the bottom is not perfectly flat meaning it sort of leans when set on a flat surface. But most striking is the incredibly intricate painted designs, which again, are all done by hand and are so complex when you study them. It's almost like looking at a Max Escher print--sliver rays emanate from the neck downward, and then little tiny geometric squares and rectangles fill the rays in such a way that the dark and light shapes create a step swirl around the pot, like a whirlwind. In fact, the whole pot has that sense of clockwise movement, whether you look at the pot from top down or from the side. This is not a large piece yet it has big presence. It is signed on the bottom Jose Sandoval Reyez. If you do not know about Mata Ortiz pottery, here is background from a Santa Fe gallery that specializes in fine art pottery: "Mata Ortiz is a small settlement inside the bounds of the Casas Grandes municipality very near the site of Paquimé. The fortunes of the town have gone up and down over the years with a real economic slump happening after the local railroad repair yard was relocated to Nuevo Casas Grandes in the early 1960's. The town was in steady decline until Juan Quezada, a poor farmer who gathered firewood in the area of the archaeological site, found fragments of ancient Paquimé pottery and even older fragments of Mimbres forms with bold black-on-white designs littering the ground. Those pot shards inspired him to recreate how that pottery had first been made. Quezada was successful in his quest to recreate the ancient process using slightly more modern techniques (although no one in the present tradition uses a potter's wheel). He learned to use sand and other coarse materials for temper. He discovered that dried cow dung made an excellent and inexpensive firing fuel. Instead of using gourds for smoothing he substituted broken hacksaw blades. Instead of using yucca fiber brushes for painting he learned to make brushes with human baby hair. He persevered in his efforts and by 1971 had produced a kind of polychrome pottery. Since then, most pottery-making in the area has used innovations in the design and decoration of the pots but the materials and the basic crafting of the process have remained the same. By the mid-1970's, Quezada had attracted a significant number of traders and his work was becoming a commercial success. That is when he began teaching his techniques to his immediate family. They in turn taught other family members, friends and the younger generations. Both women and men were included from the beginning. Contemporary Mata Ortiz pottery was mistakenly called Casas Grandes prehistoric pottery in the early years of its production. But the potters of this tiny village have made such an impact on the pottery communities, including many awards and special recognition from the Presidents of Mexico, that Mata Ortiz pottery is now becoming known around the world. Today, pottery production has changed the village in many ways as there is now electricity, plumbing, vehicles and more for the residents. Virtually everyone in the small town (2010 population: 1,182) makes their living by working in some part of the pottery-making process, from potters to clay-gatherers to firewood collectors to traders. Mata Ortiz pottery incorporates elements of contemporary and prehistoric design and decoration, and each potter or pottery family produces their own distinctive, individualized ware. Young potters from surrounding areas have been attracted to the Mata Ortiz revival and new potting families have developed while the art movement continues to expand. Without the restraints of traditional religious practices or gender constraints, a vibrant flow of new ideas has enabled the pottery of Mata Ortiz to avoid the derivative repetition common to virtually all folk art movements. This blend of economic need, gender equality, cultural expression and artistic freedom has produced a unique artistic movement in today's community."

This pot is medium-small, measuring about 5-1/2" tall by about 7" in diameter, and the mouth of the vase is 1-7/8" in diameter. In good shape with cracks nor chips. Artist's signature etched on the bottom. Again, the bottom is not flat, and it is a leaning pot by design.

A powerful piece of Mexico.

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Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.

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For more earthy pieces of home decor: https://romaarellano.com/shop/22631891/earthy-pottery-baskets
For hacienda decor: https://romaarellano.com/shop/6877927/hacienda-taos-mexico

Shipping from United States

Processing time

1-2 business days

Estimated shipping times

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  • Asia Pacific : 3 - 5 weeks
  • Latin America and the Caribbean : 3 - 5 weeks
  • North Africa and the Middle East : 3 - 5 weeks
  • Sub-Saharan Africa : 3 - 5 weeks

I'll do my best to meet these shipping estimates, but can't guarantee them. Actual delivery time will depend on the shipping method you choose.

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I gladly accept returns and cancellations

Just contact me within: 3 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 7 days of delivery

Request a cancellation within: 5 hours of purchase

I don't accept exchanges

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The following items can't be returned or exchanged

Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

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