Casas Grandes/Paquime Renaissance Pottery from Mata Ortiz
At Kachina House we carry a vast selection of Casas Grandes/Paquime pottery from Mata Ortiz, handmade by indigenous artists. Crafted and accented with natural materials, we offer unique objects of art and craft.
Mata Ortiz or Casas Grandes pottery was born in a pre-Columbian Mexican city called Paquimé. The civilization ultimately vanished, however, and with it, this beautiful pottery. That is, until a young boy named Juan Quezada from Mata Ortiz discovered pot sherds of the lost art and successfully revived the intricate technique.
The Pueblo people credit the Ancient Ones from Paquimé for their passing down the skills and techniques for making this beautiful hand-coiled pottery. With this knowledge and our map of the cultures during that period, we have embraced the finest form of Native North American pottery to bring you the Casas Grandes/Paquimé Renaissance Pottery from Mata Ortiz.
The methods used to craft Mata Ortiz pottery are called coil and scrape, or the "tortilla" method. These methods solely utilize only 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 atop one another to shape the pot. The coils are then scraped and pressed together until the pot is smooth. In the second method, the potter creates a "tortilla" of clay and then pulls it up to form the pot. This pot is also smoothed and the walls evened out. Once dry, the pot is sanded several times to create a smooth, consistent surface that will allow for very fine painting.
If the pots display a shiny black exterior, the pot has been coated with a mixture of kerosene and graphite, then polished with a stone to achieve the desired look. The artist will then handpaint, fire, and wash the pot.
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.
Kachina House is the largest distributor of Native American arts and crafts in Arizona. At our showroom/warehouse in Sedona, AZ, you will find more products on display than we can post on our website. Our products are high-quality and handcrafted; we pride ourselves on offering unique products and the best customer service. If you have questions, we urge you to call us toll free at 800-304-3290 or drop us an email. We always like to hear from our customers.