Almost 40 years ago Juan Quesada from the village of Mata Ortiz in Chihuahua singlehandedly revived Casa Grande style pottery. This book is a beautifully illustrated account of his success, along with the other artists of the village who learned from him. Becoming familiar with these artists should lay to rest the notion held by many Americans that Mexican imports are second class. These paper-thin pots are as beautiful as any you will ever see. This book has color photographs of many of the potters from Mata Ortiz as well as pictures of their pots. There is information on how the pots are made-- they are all built by hand from native materials, painted with brushes made from the artists' children's hair and fired over cow dung.
The book has a lot of interesting details-- for instance, when the Pope visited Mexico a few years ago, he was given three of these magnificent pots. Another fascinating tidbit is that one of every seven citizens of this village makes these pots. They have gone from doing manual labor to creating works of art.
Owning this book is the next best thing to owning a Mata Ortiz pot.
This is the best pottery book I have ever found! It is layed out in an informative, and beautiful manner. Not only is the pottery exquisite, but the photographs represent the pieces at their best. It is easy to understand, and gets one passionate about an art movement, that we can actually be a part of, in this twenty-first century. It is highly unsual to be living during a time when a new art movement is going on, and still striving for it's pinnacle. We see this with the unequalled workmanship of the Matiz Ortiz people in their Casas Grandes/Matiz Ortiz pottery. I really enjoyed getting to know each potter by name and photo, coupled with seeing their work, and feeling a part of their extended family. Juan Quesada, the founder of this artistic movement, is a highly spiritual individual, generous and gifted beyond belief. He is the reason that this wonderful pottery is being shown to the world. I am an artist that does pottery, and a retired teacher. I would recommend this book to all art teachers, and anyone who appreciates great art.