Tag Archives: Mata Ortiz folk pottery

Pottery resurrection Mata Ortiz

Mata Ortiz pot with sgraffito in red,black and white

 Mata Ortiz pottery with sgraffito


Mata Ortiz rebirth :


The revitalization of Mata ortiz into a pottery centre is good story. In the 60‘s and 70‘s, with only tribal stories to go on and rediscovered pottery artifacts from the Casa Grandes location, Juan Quezada resurrected the style and ancient techniques of his ancestors pottery. In the process he rescued a village on the cusp of obscurity and put it on a creative trajectory that has now become a thriving pottery district known for the production of original, contemporary folk pottery. There was just enough evidence from the ancient pottery shards to intuit the spirit of the long lost art and rekindle the unique native aesthetics again. Due to the limited information the local artesanos weren’t too encumbered with historical,definitive styles and have successfully developed a post modern adaption of the traditional pottery.

The remote village of Mata Ortiz is on the high plains of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, about 150 miles from the Arizona, New Mexico or Texas borders. The Paquime (or Zuma) native American Indians, a prehistoric culture from the nearby Casa Grandes area, had once been an active pottery production centre for trade in the 13th and 14th centuries.



founding father of Mata Ortiz pottery, holds one of the ancient pots of the Casas Grandes region

Juan Quezada holding an ancient pot

Photo by Raechel Running



Mata Ortiz map

Mata Ortiz map


In 1976 American anthropologist Spencer MacCallum saw some of Juan Quezada’s pots in New Mexico and decided to track down Juan to source more information about their origin. He ended up teaming up with Juan to promote his art as he recognized a natural talent. This proved to be a fortuitous venture for Mata Ortiz.
Without using a kiln or a pottery wheel, the self taught Juan Quezada began recreating the ancient pots using experimentation with clays from the region and a local tortilla and coil method of assembly which combined with pinch and scrape methodologies for pot construction. After much refinement and innovation, Juan taught his family members and friends how to execute the techniques and Mata Ortiz pottery has flourished since. There are now thousands of potters in the locality creating their traditionally inspired pottery. Mata Ortiz Pottery has become synonymous with a high quality ware of integrity and beauty.



Mata Ortiz Pottery by c with native Indian decoration

Mata Ortiz Pottery – Lazaro Ozuna Silveira – Sgraffito Olla


Using an essentially organic approach, the Mata Ortiz artists polish their pieces with stones, seeds and bones. Just as they did traditionally, they use coveted clays from the local mountains and pigments mainly of mineral origin, especially the rich oxides, which are collected and ground in their location. They hand paint their pottery using hand made brushes made from  human hair. The decoration of the Mata Ortiz pottery forms have evolved to express fluid dynamic interpretations of their traditional patterns and symbols with beautifully refined detail. Combined with their fascinating abstractions and use of space, they have recaptured the spirit of their location and past. The Mata Ortiz artists now see their works more as a fine art then a craft and use sgraffito, cut-outs, vivid colours, refined figurines and surface carving to achieve bold contemporary expression.



Lorenzo Bugarini cradles an extra large pot.

photo – Alison DaRosa

LA Times



Red,black and white Mata Ortiz olla

Mata Ortiz Olla




Angel-Amaya-Exquisite-Mata-ortiz-Pottery red and white seed pot

Angel Amaya -Mata Ortiz Seed Pot




c with asymmetrical patterns

Sculpted Olla with wall cut out – Baudel Lopez


Mata Ortiz - c in white

Martin Olivas Quintana incised Dragonfly pot




Yin Yang vessel – Diego Valles

Mata Ortiz, Mexico




Jose Quezada wedding vase with elegant lace geometrical patterns Mata Ortiz

Jose Quezada wedding vase

Jose Quezada is the eldest son of master potter Nicolas Quezada, pioneer artist of Mata Ortiz, and a nephew of Juan Quezada.

height 11.25 inches

sold at http://www.finepueblopottery.com/




Cindy Perez butterfly olla in orange,black and white

Cindy Perez incised butterfly olla




Diana Loya Fine Detail Mata Ortiz Pottery

Diana Loya Mata Ortiz Pottery with fine decorative detail




Diego-Valles lla with fluid hand painted decoration

Diego Valles




Leonel Lopez-Jr-Green Maze spherical pot

‘Green Maze’ – Leonel Lopez Jr




Etched olla by Efren Ledezma Black deer on white

Etched olla by Efren Ledezma

15 inch diameter

Mata Ortiz Gallery



Elí-Navarrete Mata Ortiz pottery

Elí Navarrete




Found-on-mataortiz-mata-ortiz-large-olla-by-the-late-Nicolas-Quezada Sandiafolk

Nicolas Quezada large olla

Mata Ortiz Gallery



Goyin Silveira-Fantastic-Animals-Olla7

Goyin Silveira animal olla


Mata Ortiz - Martin Olivas Quintana-Hummingbirds in red, yellow-green and white

‘Hummingbirds’ – Martin Olivas Quintana



Hector Gallegos Extraordinary Museum Olla

‘Hummingbirds’ – Hector Gallegos




Jesus-Olivas-Quintana sgraffito olla in red, black and white

Sgraffito olla – Jesus Olivas Quintana






‘Parrot Olla’ – Pabla Quezada



Hector-Gallegos urn with a Quetzalcoatl serpent and Native American feather symbol

Hector Gallegos ceramic urn featuring a  Quetzalcoatl serpent and Native American feather symbol

Mata Ortiz Gallery




Lydia Quezada-Category-Mata-Ortiz-Pottery

Lydia Quezada



Elvira-Bugarini-Mata-Ortiz intricate patterned pot

Elvira Bugarini



Mata Ortiz - Olivia Dominguez Snake Olla----fluid-lines

Olivia Dominguez Snake Olla




Manolo-Rodríguez abstract Mata Ortiz pottery

Manolo Rodríguez



Tomas Quintana-fish_small Mat ortiz ceramics

Tomas Quintana





Mata Ortiz Mexican pottery by Roberto Olivas

Roberto Olivas sgraffito pot





Nicolas Quezada terracotta olla




Mata Ortiz Pottery, tall-necked small pot by Blanca Quezada red-white and black

Mata Ortiz Pottery, tall- necked small pot by Blanca Quezada




Mata Ortiz Pottery by Baudel Lopez polished pot in red and black

Baudel Lopez polished red pot




Humberto Ponce Mata Ortiz Wedding Vase Found on mataortiz

Humberto Ponce – Mata Ortiz Wedding Vase

Mata Ortiz Gallery




Mata Ortiz-pottery-by-Martin-Cota

 Martin Cota






Eli Navarrete--Graphite-Beauty---Sandia-Folk attractive piece features Eli's trademark fish,birds and geckos painted over a beautiful graphite burnished pot.

Eli Navarrete

Graphite burnished pot featuring Eli’s trademark fish,birds and geckos






Nancy Heras de Martinez



Roberto Olivas Sgraffito Olla





Miguel Quezada



Perfection in technique and design. Leonel Lopez Saenz Fine Mata Ortiz Pottery.

 Leonel Lopez Saenz






Tall olla in non-traditional colours by Cesar Navarrete Ortiz.




Olivia Dominguez – tobacco snake olla





Jose Quezada Olla


Juan Quezada black clay olla



Mata Ortiz Goyin-Silveira--Tarantula-Olla---Sandia-Folk

Goyin Silveira– ‘Tarantula Olla’

Mata Ortiz

This pot features dozens of hidden animals and insects that create the complex design…snakes, tarantulas, turtles, birds and macaws, owls, lizards, fish.