When current Casas Grandes municipal president, Javier Mendoza, a Mata Ortiz native son began to campaign for office, he stopped by Casa Aurora Publications and Centro Cultural to ask for our support.
What can I do to help the potters of my village? How can I help them reach their customers, nobody comes to visit us in Mata Ortiz anymore due to fear of traveling to our isolated location. Juan Mata Ortiz hand-crafted pottery is the main stay of this small community, he said, and we have no one here to buy the pottery.
Ana Livingston Paddock and Carlotta Boettcher, founders of Casa Aurora Publications and Centro Cultural, www.casaaurorapublications.com in Mata Ortiz, and artists themselves, with past experience in promoting artists and artisans, recommended to Javier Mendoza that Mata Ortiz and the potters needed their own website and would also benefit by mapping their village and creating printed maps to help visitors and pottery collectors find the over 300 pottery studios located in Mata Ortiz’s nooks and crannies, back alleys and hidden cul de sacs throughout the five neighborhoods that make up the Mata Ortiz community of ceramic artisans.
With the able assistance of newly formed Mata Ortiz Grupo Siete’s members, young pottery artists, Diego Valles, Hector Gallegos Jr., Goyin Silveira, Graciela Martinez, Celia Veloz, Armando Valles, and Carla Martinez, the research for the map was done, and we set off, with help of some part time visitors to the village, to create a map showing the pottery studio locations. The rest is history.
Today, Juan Mata Ortiz potters have their own map and their own website www.mataortizmap.com. Visit them soon and learn about this incredible community of Mexican artisans who produce some of the finest hand-crafted, hand painted ceramics and the most innovative , hand made, art pottery in the world.