San Antonino, Oaxaca is where Don Jose Garcia, the blind potter lives and works. We took some time out of our schedule to visit him.
On arrival, we met a big old dog who slept by the gate. He looked up when we arrived with disinterest in his eyes and fell back to sleep. The door opened and we were welcomed by Don Jose's daughter. Walking through the doorway, it almost appeared that we had stepped back in time..
We were greeted by a chorus from the turkeys, chickens and dogs. Just by the entrance was a horse feeding by the haystack. Corn and alfalfa was piled for feed and the chickens had a wonderful time scrabbling through it.
Outbuildings made of odd pieces of iron surround the extensive compound. There were kiln set into the earth and what I believe was the outside ablution block.
Everywhere I looked there were pieces of ceramics… some soaring high in the air, others resting on tables, walls and even hanging from the rafters. Some nestled in flower beds and others were hosts to small gardens. The bare earth had recently been swept.
A man came forward, he used his cane to find his footing on the uneven ground.
He extended his hand and one by one we greeted him. When he found out I was from Australia, he laughed loudly and made a wonderful speech about the wonders of the kangaroo. His voice was mellow and soft and I felt he had just stepped out of a 1940's movie.
We moved inside his shed and it was almost dark except for the light from the doorway and one mall window. Of course he didn't need the light he was blind.
While we marveled at his masterpieces
he began to work quietly molding an manipulating a piece of wet clay sitting alongside one of his creations.
His grandson played with his toys in the dirt by the doorway.
A photo of a handsome man and his wife in times gone by, lay on the floor.
Friends told me that his work is recognized all over the world…No fancy studio, just a shed out the back amongst the farm animals….creating beauty.
Can we ever achieve that?
3 Comments Add yours
Dear Pam, I’ve been following you all through Oaxaca with your warm descriptions of our people, our food and our art. I took the workshop with you in San Miguel and here’s the link to my flickr where I posted my finished work. I will keep working with all the techniques you showed us! Thanks again and much love.
Alejandra Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexandra408/4399583253/
Alexandra, Your quilt is beautiful. Pam is an excellent teacher and you are an excellent student.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for your lovely comment Wendy!