Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sofia Reyes, famous crafter of 'black pottery'

After a visiting the several shops where they make alebrijos we came upon a tiny town where the famous potter Sofia Reyes lives.  Sofia is 90 yrs old.  We were so honored when this living legend gave us a demonstration of her technique.  She uses NO pottery wheel. Instead she balances the clay on two inverted dishes.  The picture to the left shows her transforming a lump of clay into a vessel.  Note, only the hands are moving.   She has been doing this all her life and has also taught her daughters and their daughters to make the black pottery.  The pottery is fired in an outdoor, underground 'kiln' of sorts.  It looks like a simple hole in the ground though I am sure there is much more technology to it than that.  I had no more room in my luggage by this point so I did not buy anything from her amazing inventory.  But many of the group I came with did.  While we were in her shop much ruckus could be heard in the streets.  Turned out a mini parade was going by with all the town's children dressed as muertos.   I went back to sit on the bus with Damien the handsome and flirtatious driver who offered me some local made bread.  I had to refuse since most 'local's' food is made where they have no running water and it is way too easy for a gringa like me to get sick.       But as I was waiting for the others to return I saw a lovely little old lady walking home in the rain and I took a picture of her thru the bus windshield.   I thought it came out pretty sweet.  Next entry is a vignette with pictures of the visits to the alibrijas wood carvers....