Mata Ortiz Pottery
Mata Ortiz pottery is a recreation of the pre-Hispanic pottery found in and around the archeological site of Paquimé in the Mexican province of Chihuahua. It is named after the modern town of Mata Ortiz, located about 4.5 hours south and west of El Paso, Texas. It is a small town with adobe dwellings at the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental, along the banks of the Palanganas River.
Mata Ortiz potters generally work in their homes, with bedrooms often doubling as studios. The work space generally consists of just a table, with simple tools such as a hacksaw blade, a butter knife, broken spoons, sandpaper, a small stone and paintbrushes generally made from clippings of children’s hair, sometimes just four or five strands tied on a stick. The shaping of the clay is relatively faithful to the original Paquimé techniques, but each potter has their own variation.