Mata Ortiz in Books & Film





Juan Quezada: Visionary Artist





Gallery Mata Ortiz 

Mata Ortiz Pottery: Beautiful, Affordable Hand-Crafted Ceramics in the Casas Grandes Tradition

Technique: Sgraffito

Sgraffito is a ceramics technique found in Mata Ortiz pottery where two successive layers of contrasting slip (clay) are applied to an unfired ceramic body and then carved or "scratched" to produce an outline drawing and reveal the base color underneath.
There's a fascinating story behind the revitalization of ceramic art in Mata Ortiz . We offer book and film resources that will inform and enchant you via text, sound and images.


Using prehistoric potsherds of ancient Mimbres and Paquimé/Casas Grandes pottery as his guide, Juan Quezada not only taught himself to become a world-class artist but taught his family - and ultimately an entire village - how to create collectible art.  More here. 


Often using the most basic of tools to shape, carve and paint the pottery, artists utilize spoons, broken knife blades and sticks in designing the pots and make their own paintbrushes using human hair.

                                    Photo:  Douglas Coons

Pronounced O-yah, Olla is the Spanish word for an earthenware vessel traditionally used to hold water or food.

The Olla: Beautiful and Practical




Seed Pots: The Holder of Life

                                                 Photo:  Antware

Designed to keep seeds safe from end of harvest until the next planting season, seed pots were designed with small holes that could be closed off with a stone, a daub of mud, pine sap or piece of corn cob.  The sealed pots kept the valuable seed dark, dry and safe from mice.