Contemporary and Traditional Native American Hand Made
Open Daily (510) 528-9038
1412 Solano Avenue Albany CA 94706

Mata Ortiz Pottery Show

Saturday October 25, 2014 - Sunday October 26, 2014


Mata Ortiz Pottery Show

& New Arrivals:


Saturday, October 25 - 10 am to 6 pm

Sunday, October 26 - 11 am to 5 pm


Eidell Wasserman has been making the long trip from California to Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua for many years.  She brings back hundreds of beautiful Mata Ortiz pottery each time.  The pots range in price from $10 to the hundreds of dollars depending on the potter, quality and size.


The story of how this pottery came to be made is often times called "the miracle of Mata Ortiz". The village of Mata Ortiz is near the "Casas Grandes" ruins where the Paquime people lived hundreds of years ago.  They were part of the Mimbres culture which included the Southwest peoples.  They left behind not only stunning ruins, but also pottery and pottery shards which are highly prized.


In the 1960s, a boy by the name of Juan Quezada, decided that if the ancients could make the pottery, he could too.  With a third grade education and impressive curiosity and resourcesfulness, he roamed the land until he found where the ancients mined the clay and the minerals that they ground and used as paint.  He recreated the pinch pot technique and pit firing technique through trial and error.


Juan's impressive pots were so much like the Paquime pottery that unethical dealers bought his pots and sold them as original Paquime pottery.  Fortunately, Spencer MacAllum, an anthropologist from the United States, found one of Juan's pots in a store in Demming, New Mexico.  He knew it was contemporary and set off to discover the maker.  It took him several years to find Juan Quezada in Mata Ortiz. 


Juan had taught several family members and friends how to make the pottery by that time.  Museum and gallery shows were organized by Spencer MacAllum and Mata Ortiz pottery became "an overnight success". 


There are now over 300 potters and the income from this cottage industry has changed the economics of the village. 


Clay animals by Debi Bugarini of Mat Ortiz



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