Barro Negro Pottery
Works in black clay have acquired world prestige due to their delicate elaboration process. Discover this deluxe souvenir craft.

Deluxe Ceramic of San Bartolo Coyotepec in Oaxaca

Nowadays interior design trends favor minimalism, so many craftsmen are trying to reinvent their works in an attempt to insert them in the modern world without forsaking their origins and authentic elaboration processes. Therefore, the works that are created with traditional techniques and materials are becoming part of the luxury that dresses up modern homes.

Contemporary Mexican Interior Design

Barro negro pottery (black clay) is an example of this evolution since it has become the perfect material for home decoration, and particularly for ample spaces with floor to ceiling windows and sizeable furniture in grey, white and black colors. Abstract sculptures are fine examples of these elegant crafts defined by lines and stylish curves that can decorate a coffee table, while floor vases complemented with bamboo plants are ideal for those spaces where a touch of color is required.

Barro Negro Pottery Workshops in San Bartolo Coyotepec

Therefore, whenever you travel to the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, a destination that is famous for its multiple contributions to Mexican gastronomy, including beverages like mezcal –agave nectar with 40 degrees of alcohol-, DINKtravelers recommends visiting the crafts workshops in San Bartolo Coyotepec.

Elaboration Process of Black Clay

Works in this kind of black clay have acquired world prestige particularly due to their delicate elaboration process. First, the clay needs to be prepared four days before it can be subject to extreme heat in a kiln. Unlike common clay, the black variety is heated for a longer period –hence its dark deep color. Actually, part of the challenge in its elaboration resides in the fact that if it’s heated for too long, it may break. Once baked, craftsmen use a smooth piece of obsidian to carve the entire surface until the clay acquires its metallic shiny appearance.

Finished works are exhibited in stores that are usually found joint to the workshops. There, you’ll find uncountable pieces that may vary in shape and size, and that may be the perfect decoration for stair landings, or human silhouettes with faded faces and peculiar vases that are ideal for living rooms and lobbies.

Nevertheless, the most enriching experience that comes from visiting the workshops in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, is being able to talk to local artisans who proudly show you their unique and high quality work while they kindly describe their craft. So, if you’re lucky, apart from having the chance to order a custom-made piece according to the rooms you want to decorate, you’ll have the opportunity to witness first hand its elaboration process.

Because reading is where the journey begins...
  • Value Artistic Tradition

    Even though in Mexico haggling is common, value the works artisans create with black clay and pay the price they set. It’s worth it!

  • Value Artistic Tradition

    If you find a hand-made work of art you like, don’t hesitate to buy it. You’ll find other similar ones, but each one of these works is unique.