A beautiful and finely crafted cuadritos design seed pot from the famous Master Potter Graciela Gallegos. Graciela is the wife of Master Potter Hector Gallegos Sr., and together they can often be found giving classes on Mata Ortiz Pottery. Graciela Gallegos is a wonderful woman, with a kind heart and spirit. And that spirit shows in her pottery. The Gallegos Family was one of the first families that we had the pleasure to meet in Mata Ortiz, and we have enjoyed every visit since! We are proud to offer their pottery at DeSilva Imports! Fine potters and outstanding human beings who really demonstrate how these traditions should be passed down within the family!
This is a museum quality seedpot from one of the original master potters of Mata Ortiz, Mexico! Finely detailed with precise execution. It is almost impossible to believe that this piece was painted with long strands of human hair! The cuadricula squares is the signature style of Graciela Gallegos, and it is expertly executed in an eye dazzling pattern. Gorgeous! The piece is signed by the artist.
Hand made without even the use of a potter’s wheel! Done in the traditional style of Mata Ortiz, with hand forming the piece out of clay that has been dug from the local countryside. The clay is sifted to remove the impurities, making the clay pliable and easier to work with than the standard clay that we find in art supply shops in the US. The artist starts with a flat pancake of clay, then adds a single coil of clay. They pinch the walls upward to form the pot, while scooping out the clay from within, and thinning the walls from the outside at the same time. Larger pieces will include a second coil added at the top. Mata Ortiz pottery is known for how thin walled and light weight it is, which makes it quite difficult to hand build without collapsing along the way. The piece will then dry for several days, before sanding the walls to get the walls. The surface of the pot is protected with a thin layer of oil, before hand polishing the surface with an agate stone. Then the piece is painted with natural paint using a home made brush crafted of long strands of human hair. A low temperature firing is the last step. Although there are some electric kilns in town these days, traditionally the pottery is fired on the ground using local wood similar to cottonwood. If it is a colored pot, the firing area is elevated on bricks to allow air to circulate during the firing, the pot is placed on a tripod or grate, covered with a clay or metal vessel, wood is stacked around the outer vessel and then ignited. Once the wood burns down, then the firing has been completed. If a black pot was desired, then sawdust or cow dung would be spread on the ground inside of the outer vessel and dirt would be used to seal the edges of the outer vessel, so that oxygen does not flow into the firing. Any actual color of clay could be used, and the pot would still turn black. The artist wanted the colors to remain on this piece, so oxygen was allowed to flow during the firing. One in every four or five pots break in a traditional firing. It is definitely a labor of love!
Approximate Measurements: 2 3/4" high x 5 1/4" wide (16" in circumference at its widest point)