Casas Grandes (Paquime) is a prehistoric archeological ruin in northern Mexico, near the village of Mata Ortiz.
In the early 1970s, Juan Quezada experimented in reproducing pottery like the shards he found in the fields.
That pottery was made by his ancestors, Puebloan people who fled south following the re-establishment of Spanish authority, in the late 1600s, in New Mexico.
Today, his pots are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, and his village of Mata Ortiz is known for a multitude of other potters, creating marvelous pottery.
The pots are formed in the Pueblo tradition: made from hand-gathered, local clay, mixed and coiled by hand, stone-polished, decorated with natural clay slips and colors, and fired in the ground,
Begun as a revival of ancient traditions, pottery from this area has developed a distinctive and creative artistic style.
This adorable little vase is formed like a scalloped gourd pot. The bottom half is beautifully stone-polished, while the top is painted in intricate geometric shapes, interrupted by four cute rabbits, running around the middle.
The brick red is a clay slip; the black is a plant-based paint. Stone polish covers the entire surface, with the black painted on last.
Almost laughable, the price reflects the Mexican economy, not at all a reflection of the piece’s quality – which is exemplary.