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december workshop- mexico

updated sun 10 oct 99


Rachel and Eric on sat 9 oct 99

All the shaking earth and rain in Oaxaca has brought up good clay
from the bowls of the earth. There are still openings in the December San
Marcos Workshop. Might be a nice early x-mas present for a potter. Might
be a nice way to say goodbye to the snow for a while.

Workshop dates,
1st session: December 6-11, 1999
2nd session: January 24-29, 2000 (FULL)
Workshop cost is $595*. This includes workshop fee, museum entrance, all
materials, hotel Sun.-Sat night and most meals.

This is an intensive, hands in the clay workshop which will immerse
us into the pottery making and life of a small Zapotec village called San
Marcos Tlapazola in the central, high valley of Oaxaca. We will be staying
in this town for four and a half days following our teachers through the
process of creating a pot. Beginning by gathering and preparing clay, then
working our way through the unusual steps of this wheelless, ancient, hand
building technique, we will do our best to understand this challenging
method. On our last day we will fire our pots in the quick, surface bonfire
used in this village. With a little luck when the coals burn down we will
have well formed, red slipped and burnished pots with wonderful burnmarks.
As we are learning our way through the hand building methods of our
teachers, we will also ease into the rhythm and peaceful pace of this
traditional, pre-industrial village. In our time in San Marcos will become
familiar and comfortable with our hosts, working side by side with them,
sharing meals and stories.
Our teachers in San Marcos will be Alberta Sanchez and Macrina
Mateo. These two Zapotec potters are from families that have been potting
for centuries and are highly skilled. They have been recognized statewide
and nationally for their work and have been instrumental in bringing San
Marcos pottery to a wider audience. In a village of skilled potters their
work stands out for its beauty and quality.
The additional days will be spent visiting two other valley pottery
villages, San Bartolo Coyotepec, and Santa Maria Atzompa where we will see
two very different styles of pottery being produced. In both of these
villages we will see pottery rooted in, but departing from, the
traditional/functional and becoming anything from gaudy to absolutely

Please contact me with questions and for more information. Eric Mindling

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