Hands in Clay: Black Pottery of San Bartolo Coyotepec
Enjoy this new clay experience based in San Bartolo Coyotepec where you will learn the ancestral technique of working with the black clay that is typical of the region.
Sandra will take us step by step through the process of making black clay pieces, and you will explore your creativity and develop new skills in the company of a Oaxacan family that is dedicated to the production of this clay technique.
San Bartolo is a town renowned for its identifiable clay pieces, since a large part of its population is dedicated to the production of uniquely-regional black clay pottery. Sandra and her family will talk to you about the history of pottery in the village and their relationship with the art form as a family and a community. You might even get to work while one of their rescue-iguanas sits on your shoulder.
We will leave from Tlayudona at 10 a.m. and will arrive in San Bartolo around 10:45, where we will introduce you to Sandra and her family. We are going to start the experience with an activity called the “amasado”, where your feet will perform the task of kneading the material with which the clay is made. After this, you’ll get to tap into your inspiration and create a piece of your choosing. Sandra can help you hone your techniques if you already have some experience, or introduce you to the basics of working with clay if you’re a beginner. Regardless of your experience level, the special characteristics of black clay and the cultural context of San Bartolo will make this a new and memorable experience for you.
During the workshop we will offer you regional sweets, a special nieve (Oaxacan version of ice-cream) and even a mezcal.
Once you finish, your piece will be laid out to dry for 5-7 days in order for it to dehydrate evenly and not crack. The next time the family fires their pieces, we can have them delivered back to Tlayudona for pick-up. (Try to schedule your clay experience at the beginning of your trip so that we can get your finished piece to you before you depart!) You are also welcome to take your piece home “wet”, or to have it delivered to you later at your own cost.
- Transportation (Leaving from/returning to our new Tlayudona location, Bravo 210, Colonia Centro)
- Visit the workshop in San Bartolo
- Talk given by Doña Sandra
- Personalized instruction on how to create a piece of pottery, catered to your level of experience
- All materials necessary to create your piece
- Translation from Spanish to English if/when necessary
- Regional sweets, Nieve and even a mezcal.
Depending on the size of the piece you create, it will most likely require 1-2 weeks to dry fully before being able to be fired. You are welcome to take your piece “as-is” (to be kept as a souvenir or fired for greater durability at a later point), or to leave your piece in the studio for the next firing. If you are still in Oaxaca 1-2 weeks later when the pieces have been fired, we can arrange to have your piece brought to Tlayudona for pick-up at that time.
We can also arrange international shipping of your piece at an additional cost, but be aware that this service tends to be expensive. (If the pieces are fired prematurely, they will crack or even explode in the kiln.)