In October 2015 we came across a set of beautiful molcajetes at the 46th edition of the "Concurso Estatal de Artesanías" in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán.
(Shown here is a large molcajete painted in the traditional "capuliñado fino" style, with a royal blue exterior and yellow interior.)
Judy fell in love at first sight and we bought them quick before anyone else saw them. Once on display in our house back in México City it seemed all of Judy's friends commented on how unique and special they were. Although there is an amazing amount of great pottery to be found in the markets of cdmx and nearby Puebla, this particular style is rare to non-existent near us. So when we returned to Pátzcuaro a few months later for Semana Santa 2016, we sought out the artist in a small town between Pátzcuaro & Morelia.
(Judy extremely pleased at our luck in finding The Source of her new obsession)
We found Olga at her family´s booth in the central plaza.
Seeing how enthusiastic we were about their art, Olga invited us back to see their workshop where we saw their oven, various pieces in progress, and the certificate showing how the family patriarch won the grand prize at the XV Premio Nacional de la Cerámica in 1991.
(Judy snapping pictures of the painted pieces waiting their turn for another spell in the oven)
(Shelves of painstakingly painted pieces)
(These 'pavera' serving dishes are incredibly popular among our local clients in cdmx.)
(Gorgeous, even before the final baking gives them a brilliant shine)
(Evidence of the family talent and tradition, proudly displayed on the workshop walls)
Amazed by our luck in finding her and thrilled by everything we saw, we loaded up the Peugeot with as much as we could fit and hauled it back to cdmx.
(The Peugeot's one and only trip to Michoacán. We later upgraded to a VW Crossfox better suited to handle some of the backroad terrain. Plus it boasts greater pottery capacity.)
Now we see Olga, Raúl and the rest of their family 4 or 5 times per year -- Día de los Muertos, Semana Santa, Fiesta de Santiago Apóstol, and another random trip or two to pick up our orders.
(Judy & Olga, Día de los Muertos 2017)
(Olga, Judy, & Raúl - Tlacquepaque 2017)
(Gil, Sergio, Judy, & Raúl - 2017)