Guanajuato week 4

Another exciting week has flown by….

Cervantino has finished in a blaze of fireworks and it’s time to really get stuck into some creativity.

This week I’ve been on the trail of ceramic artisans, and their methods, as my ceramic tutor has been away doing a masterclass in the US.

I visited a couple of towns where this technique is really important.  Santa Rosa has a large factory and shops with an overwhelming amount of examples, just a couple are highlighted below.  Dolores Hidalgo (isn’t that a great name?) is also a significant centre, as well as being the origin of the Mexican revolution in 1910…..a vibrant and fascinating town.

So many ceramic traditions here.   Majolica or Talavera, brought to Mexico by the Spanish.  It involves glazing the pottery with an opaque white glaze then decorating with bright colours, often depicting scenes of historical or legendary importance.  Skeletons,  flora and fauna  figure highly around here.

Other techniques include Jalisco, Bandera, Petatillo and also Punteado, this is a lovely technique where the glaze is piped on creating wonderful textures.

I am really taken with another technique where the clay is not glazed, but burnished and coloured with clay slips.  It is a pre-hispanic method, and the pieces are not thrown but molded and coiled.  As soon as Martin is back I intend to explore this technique further.

Just when I thought the town was settling down after Cervantino another big celebration came up.  The Day of the Dead was celebrated this weekend.  An important occasion when Mexicans gather with their families to remember their deceased friends and families.

Part of the tradition involves  building ofrendas or altars.  Here in Guanajuato the streets were closed to traffic so people could create fabulous, colourful pictures on the streets, made from marigolds, and dyed flour, salt, beans and rice.  Yet more vibrant inspiring art from this wonderful country.

Look out for what next week brings…..

The locals s Majolica basin sm Majolica ceramic sm g8 street art s day of dead w2

flowers for cemetery s day of dead sm