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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

San Bartolo

San Bartolo Coyotepec is located about 6km to the south of the Oaxaca City. The town is famous for the beautful black clay pots that it produces.

The process of making the pieces starts in the hills surrounding the town, in the clay mines where the collectors dig down into them to extract the materials which cant be collected on the surface. During the rainy season the work becomes dangerous due to the humidity of the ground which can collapse and bury the miners. The local people believe that if the clay is collected by women that the mine will stop producing it, therefore only men are employed to collect it.

After the clay is collected it is placed in 30kg sacks and taken to the workshops in the town. When it arrives in the town the clay is cleaned and moistened. The workers then knead the clay until they obtain the correct consistency to be able to start sculpting pots and figures. The pieces are then placed in an oven where they are looked after with great care until they are cooked. Finally the pots are firmly rubbed with a cloth. This stage gives the beautiful black shiny finish which makes the pieces unique.

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