October 17, 2011

las ollas de mata ortiz

Continuing our ceramics workshop while learning and working alongside Graciela and Hector Gallegos we travelled into the mountains east of the river valley to dig clay.

We then took the clay chunks back to el ranchero and processed it by mixing it with water, filtering out sediment, and increasingly refining the clay into a smooth plastic form. This process took several days: settling and filtering until finally a smooth red clay emerges.

Students continue to finish las ollas by sanding, burnishing and painting. Hector demonstrates his mastery of painting, applying intricate lines, shapes, and color patterns.

The following is a photo collection documenting the last several days in process, including the final firing which occurred today, October 17th.

Group hiking out to clay source in the hills.

Jane digging out clay chunks

Students bagging clay

Hector filtering sediment during clay processing

Student ollas drying.

Nina sanding her olla

Paint brushes made out of old ball-point pens

Hector and Bill painting ollas

Elena painting olla

Gene painting olla

Jane painting olla next to the acequia

Jen painting the leg-less mule, Estaban

Graciela warming pots in the oven

Preparing firing area

Color pots getting ready to be fired.

Wood stacked around the pots

Pots firing.

Students check out ollas post firing

First color ollas after firing.

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