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Casas Grandes/Paquime Renaissance Pottery from Mata Ortiz

Mata Ortiz or Casas Grandes pottery was born in a pre-Columbian city called Paquimé. The civilization however vanished and with it, this beautiful pottery. That is, until a young boy named Juan Quezada from Mata Ortiz discovered the lost art and successfully revived the intricate technique.

The Pueblo people credit the ancient ones from Paquimé for their skills and technique with making this beautiful pottery. With this knowledge and our map of the cultures during that period, we have embraced the finest form of Native American pottery to bring you the Casas Grandes/Paquimé Renaissance Pottery from Mata Ortiz.

The method used to craft Mata Ortiz pottery is called coil and scrape or, the tortilla method. This method solely utilizes the artist’s hands, free of a pottery wheel. The clay used to form these pots is hand-dug and formed into long pieces called coils. They are then laid on top of one another to shape the pot. The coils are blended together and once dry, the pot is sanded several times to create a smooth, consistent surface that will allow for very fine painting.

If the pots are to display a shiny black exterior, the pot is coated with a mixture of kerosene and graphite and then polished with a stone to achieve the desired look. The artist will then hand paint the pot, fired, and washed.

The designs and technique of the Paquimé people are preserved through the Mata Ortiz pottery of today. However, this type of pottery now features lines that are delicately drawn onto the pot. Painting is done with brushes composed of human hair and the intricate etching is completed using common nails.

Take in the beauty of this revived art by browsing through Kachina House’s extensive collection of Mata Ortiz pottery, or by visiting us at our showroom in Sedona, Arizona. Give us a call at 800-304-3290 if you have any questions or would like to know more about Mata Ortiz pottery!