Black Pottery in Oaxaca: A True Travel Experience in Mexico

Posted: June 20, 2011

Author: Journey Mexico

Doña Sophia of San Bartolo Coyotepec

Journey Mexico has always prided itself on offering travelers true travel experiences, meaning you’re not going to visit Oaxaca and just see examples of its famous black pottery; you’re going to visit a local home where a family of potters have been hand-making black pottery for centuries. You’re going to actually see the pottery being made. You’re going to meet and converse with the family and when you leave, you’re going to be sad to say goodbye to new friends.

The most recent Our Mexico web-ad features Doña Sophia, someone I feel privileged to have met on a recent trip to Oaxaca. So old she can no longer remember her own age, Doña Sophia still happily crouches down on her knees to give guests a live demonstration of how she has been making black pottery for almost a hundred years.

Unlike modern potters, Doña Sophia still spins her clay by hand on plates as opposed to using a mechanized wheel. As the craft was taught to her by predecessors, she has passed her knowledge down to her family and many of her daughters and granddaughters now decorate the crafts she molds before they are fired in an underground oven. In the video below, you can watch Doña Sophia in action as she crafts a jar for one of our recent groups.

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