Atzompa Pottery and its Clay Tradition have fame and recognition in Oaxaca, Mexico, and internationally. This little town, located in the city limits of Oaxaca de Juárez.
When I visited Santa María Atzompa, Oaxaca, around a year ago, I met the Martínez Alarzón family. I arrived at their workshop Taller de Escultura y Cerámica Coatlicue, in the search for clay mugs. After talking for a few hours with Adrián and his mother, Ana María; they caught my attention. Their vision of the universe and their desire to share with the community are something unique.
This family has a passion for working with clay. Their relationship and respect for the land and ancestral Zapotec traditions are quite remarkable. We can find their symbolism in their work, in their motives; and by mixing this with reduction and kiln firing techniques, they result in artistic and daily-use pieces with a unique personality.
Western and westernized civilizations have a tradition to scrub indigenous cultures and traditions. Mexican society is not an exception. There’s a great article that explains this broadly and from the perspective of one of the expert indigenous researchers of Oaxaca, Yásnaya Aguilar. If you are interested in these topics, you should read this article. In a global context like this, I found their vision and work relevant.
Taller de Escultura y Cerámica Coatlicue
When I arrived in Atzompa, I found this workshop, and from that moment, they caught my attention. Their work, their style, the way they treated me. I felt a very welcoming vibe and passion for their work. We became friends, and I even ordered some mugs and bought plates for my place. Then I got to know them better, and then, we agreed upon making a video to depict their awesome cosmovision and the symbology they have and apply to their pieces.
The work we have done together, beyond sharing their ideas and points of view, is to increase their sales and bring them more customers. All the plates and mugs we use in the cooking classes has been purchased from the Coatlicue workshop.
How to get to Santa María Atzompa from Oaxaca Centro
By public transportation. You’ll need to walk to the Central de Abastos area and look for the taxis colectivos street (Valerio Trujano) and look for the ones that go directly to Atzompa. You can ask the driver to drop you off at the artisan market. From there, you can start exploring the area and find some clay workshops.
Did you know?
The original plot of the video “El Barro de Atzompa y la Cosmovisión Zapoteca” was very different compared to the final piece.
Patrons that contribute to this project through Patreon have access to plot planning and development. Besides, access to my recipes, monthly wallpapers, and other perks. Consider contributing to Nomad Cook to be part of stories like this.