Master Potters Salvador Baca and Virginia Lozoya are a husband and wife team, and finely skilled representatives of the first generation of potters from Mata Ortiz, Mexico. Both potters are featured in the famous “go to” book on Mata Ortiz pottery: The Many Faces of Mata Ortiz. Salvador and Virginia are the proud parents of three boys, and grandparents to three beautiful children. Both of these amazing pottery artists are self taught, and do not come from traditional pottery families. Salvador Baca learned the basics of traditional Mata Ortiz pottery techniques by observing his friends and neighbors, but had to work out all the details and hone his skills to the high award winning level that he has achieved on his own. Virginia also shares a similar history. The only potter of note in her family was her sister Gloria Lozoya, who studied with the most widely recognized of the original potters when he first started making Mata Ortiz pots, the famous Juan Quezada. Virginia observed the basics of her sister at work, and this was her very first influence with the traditional pottery techniques. Both artists began working with Mata Ortiz pottery in 1987, first experimenting with the clays that could be found in the local countryside and then refined to form their pottery, as well as serving as the basis for some of their natural paints used to paint the formed pots. To this day, Salvador and Virginia adhere to the traditional methods of making Mata Ortiz pots, but like to play with unique forms, ideas and treatments that do no conflict with the basic traditions behind this pottery. Both artists favor the black on black pottery that they have become famous for, but also love experimenting with hand mixed clays and naturally colored local clays that they find in the surrounding countryside. Virginia prefers to work in miniatures, but assists her husband on his larger projects as well. Their artistry is nothing short of amazing, and if you pick up one of their smaller sized treasures you will be amazed with how light their work is. How lightweight a pot is becomes the ultimate signal of quality, and it takes an expert to craft the walls so thinly. No one even compares to Salvador and Virginia in this aspect of pottery making! Salvador Baca and Virginia Lozoya have won so many awards that it is impossible to list them all here. The most recent was winning the National Ceramics Award for all of Mexico in Traditional Ceramics for 2015!! Salvador also took 3rd place in the national awards in 2014 and 2012. Virginia took 2nd place in the National Ceramics Awards in both 2009 and 2010, won her first award for her work in 1999, and consistently wins an impressive award almost every year for her miniature work. On a Mexican national level, Salvador also won 1st place at the National Folk Art Awards in 2014 for hand polished ceramics, and honorable mention in 2013. The Mexican government sponsors an award show in Mata Ortiz for all the potters there. Between Salvador and Virginia, they have won an award in this competition almost every single year since 2005.
It is an absolute honor for us at DeSilva Imports to be able to share the work of Salvador Baca and Virginia Lozoya with you! They are an incredible driving force in Mata Ortiz Pottery today! This beautiful mixed clay piece is incredible for the beautiful painted and carved design that is formed by mixing several different colors of clay together to create a beautiful base to the piece. The clays are joined together into bricks, and then cut into squares. The clays are then mixed togther again, and the process is repeated until the desired distribution of the mixed colors is achieved. It is a labor of love, and a process that only the most talented attempt. Different clays fire at different speeds, so this mixture of clays intensifies the risk of breakage during the firing process. To achieve a mixture of this quality requires a true master like Salvador Baca. The mixed clay pots are always heavier than his traditional black on black work, as it would not be possible to successfully fire otherwise. Salvador Baca has won numerous awards for his brilliant mixed clay work as well. The affect that he achieves reminds us of leather. You will treasure one of these pieces. They are stunning! The carving of the designs adds a gorgeous texture and visual appeal, and the piece is selectively painted so as to not overpower the design achieved solely from the successful mixture of the various clays. Museum quality! One of our very favorites of all the pieces that we purchased on our last trip to Mata Ortiz!
Approximate Measurements: 9 3/4" high x 6 1/4" wide (18 3/4" circumference at it's widest point)