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workshops in ancient mexico

updated mon 13 sep 99


Rachel and Eric on sun 12 sep 99

Potters! Do not dispair, there are still openings in the Oaxacan Workshops.
You can still come down and have the time of your life.

1999-2000 Field Season

The Oaxacan Workshops take potters into the backcountry of southern Mexico.
This is the world of ancient, traditional potters. We work with indigenous
masters, studying these 4,000 year old, low fire pottery ways.

FIVE VILLAGE FIELD STUDY: Oct. 18-23. A six day journey into the pottery
villages of Oaxaca to examine five different Mesoamerican clay traditions.
We will see forming techniques, finishes and firings. Visits to museum
pottery collections and pre-Columbian, Zapotec ruins broaden our
understanding of these ancient cultures.
SAN MARCOS WORKSHOP: Dec. 6-11(OPEN), Jan 24-29(FULL). A muddy hand visit
with the Zapotec master potters of San Marcos. We will mine our clay,
process it, build vessels using living, 4,000 year old methods, slip,
burnish and tumblefire our pieces. A week in the heart of this ancient
village of potters gives us an inside look at village life as it has been

look at pre-Columbian firing methods currently used in three Oaxacan
villages: Tumblestack surface firing, sunken chamber reduction firing and
ancient, stone kiln firing with tannin staining. The special clay bodies
used as well as finishing techniques, from slip and burnish to oak bark
dying will also be explored.

TONALTEPEC WORKSHOP: Feb 28-March 4(FULL). This will be the first group of
outside potters ever to study the Tonaltepec method in depth. This tiny
settlement is located in the barren, beautiful, Mixtec high country. We will
dig our clay, form vessels and fire the ancient Tonaltepec kilns with the
wild, post-firing hot staining of the pots.

COST:Tonaltepec Workshop $540, all others $595. Includes tuition, materials,
hotels, most meals, local transport and museum entry fees. To tread lightly,
trips are limited in size from 6-8 participants.

For more information e-mail Eric Mindling or fax us
in Mexico, [011-52] (952) 1-4186. Check the web page:

Rachel Werling
Eric Mindling
AP 1452
Oaxaca, Oax.
CP 68000
fax 011 52 (952) 1-4186