Preserving ancient culture

Ron and Vicki Sullivan
Mark your calendars for March 1, 2 and 3. Quail Creek will host its fourth annual spring Mata Ortiz pottery, Zapotec weaving, and Taxco jewelry show at the Kino Conference Center.
Internationally recognized for their pottery, Jerardo Tena and Norma Hernandez represent a group of Mata Ortiz potters who have revived the ancient art of the people who lived in what is now known as Paquimé, a civilization that flourished in the area 600-800 years ago. As if guided by the spirit of Paquimé, a struggling pueblo has become a community of fine ceramic artists renowned the world over.
Jerardo and Norma will demonstrate the burnishing, painting and firing techniques used in Mata Ortiz to create their “ollas” or pots. Observe them applying their organic mineral-based slips using brushes with bristles made of children’s hair.
For the first time, master potters Mirna Hernandez and son Jesus Octavio Silveira Jr. will be featured artists at Quail Creek’s Kino Conference Center. Mirna’s intricate slip designs and sculptured vessel necks have dazzled admirers from Santa Fe to Tucson. Jesus, following in his mother’s traditions, has developed as a masterful graffito artist carving intricate flora and fauna designs.
Weather permitting, the potters will fire pottery about 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Join us for master Zapotec weaver Porfirio Gutierrez’s “Traditional Zapotec Dyes: Survival in the Modern World” lecture and dye demonstrations every day at 1:00 p.m.
Peruse his displays of eye dazzling colors as they appear to dance and glow, evoking the many moods of his Zapotec heritage in Oaxaca. Woven by hand, he and the Gutierrez family evoke the intricacies of traditional Zapotec art.
Rounding out the event is jewelry made from contemporary Mata Ortiz pottery shards wrapped in 92.5% silver by Agustin Torres Beltran, a Nahuatl Indian in Taxco, Mexico. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, totally hand formed.
Join us Friday, March 1, noon–5:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 2, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.