Ortiz Clay Arts &
city of Casas
An Artistic Revival in
Tour Departure: This
tour is not currently scheduled.
or email Piet & Mary at (520) 887-2340 (in Tucson) with any
comfort and learning aboard a luxurious Motorcoach roundtrip from Tucson, Arizona,
plus two nights in a very comfortable hotel at Nuevo Casas Grandes,
Chihuahua (where purified water flows from the taps). From there, we'll meet the artists at the village of Mata
Ortiz and visit Paquimé
and its museum!
Mary & Piet by phone: 520-887-2340
Please call or email to
make your reservations early.
This program has been produced exclusively for members of Tucson's botanical garden, Tohono
Chul Park. If you're not already a member, we hope you'll welcome this
opportunity to become one. Please call Jo Falls to learn all about the
joys of membership!
Some of our most special
and unique learning vacations are produced for members of Tucson's Tohono Chul Park, a non-profit,
botanical garden and art museum. The Park's mission is to enrich
people's lives by providing them the opportunity to find peace and
inspiration in a place of beauty, to experience the wonders of the
Sonoran Desert, and to gain knowledge of the natural and cultural
heritage of this region. It's easy to become a
member. Call Jo Falls, Director of Public Programs, (520) 742-6455 for more information.
Juan Quezada is seen through the smoke, as he observes a firing
with our group in his yard.
look out on a grassy, tree-lined courtyard
Comfortable Hotel in
Nuevo Casas Grandes
(Purified water flows from the tap!)
Casas Grandes Valley in present-day Northern Chihuahua, Mexico was a bustling
metropolis from the 11th to 13th centuries. Pottery produced here was traded
extensively throughout what is now Northern Mexico and Southwestern U.S. The
ancient city of Paquimé was destroyed by fire in the 14th century and its
pottery tradition lost. Truly lovely earthen ruins remain.
Grandes - or Paquimé, Chihuahua. En route to Mata Ortiz.
Growing up in the 1950’s in the nearby village of Juan
Mata Ortiz, Juan Quezada was intrigued by the pottery shards he found in the
mountains and valleys surrounding his home. A natural artist, talented and
curious, Juan began experimenting with the local clays to produce pottery in the
ancient ways. Completely self-taught, he perfected his pottery and painting and
began to sell his magnificent art. Meanwhile Juan taught his art to family
members who in turn taught others in the village.
Today there are an estimated
500 potters in this village of 2300! Juan Quezada’s pots command thousands of
dollars in galleries and museums worldwide, yet incredible bargains still remain
in Mata Ortiz. Many wonderful works can be acquired from just a few dollars to $50 and up into
the hundreds. Or,
$3000 or more for one of Juan's masterpieces. An average Mata Ortiz price may be
about 25% of U.S. gallery prices.
Journey with us to Mata Ortiz and
visit artists in their home-studios. Witness pottery building with native clays,
decorating, and finally, traditional outdoor firings. Also visit the impressive
ruins of the 11th-century
city of Paquimé—Casas Grandes—whose ancient culture inspired this artistic
revival. A marvelous museum is also included. Transportation from
Tucson, comfortable hotel accommodations in Nuevo Casas Grandes, a breakfast, a
very special lunch and admissions are all included.
From our guests about Mata
want to thank you for being such super tour directors and guides…There is much
to learn about our new state and in particular the many cultural influences of
Mexico. There were a lot of extra niceties on your trip: The thoughtful (and
nutritious!) snacks, the personal and knowledgeable contacts at Mata Ortiz. Our
pots are great! In a local gift shop, I recognized an almost identical pot to
one of our $10 purchases, selling for $100! Gerry & Elinor, Arizona
wonderful experience. The food and the ambiance were great. I learned more of
Mexico. Thank you again for your expertise…a wonderful tour.
experience I shall never forget. As usual, you were the perfect hosts.”
everyone, I want to go back and buy more pots! Everyone raved about the
wonderful trip, and we all reached the conclusion it was due to you two, who ran
it superbly. Keep me on your list! Did you say Oaxaca?”
gather dazzling local minerals for clays and colors. Noe Quezada's fresh
creation on the coals. Firing
of the pottery is just
done out in the yard...and that's an art in itself!
Elbow your way up to the table to buy in the
Hernandez works the earth with natural ease.
Contact Piet & Mary Van de Mark by phone:
520-887-2340 (Tucson, Arizona)
Frontier Tours LLC, Tucson, Arizona 2004
July 30, 2012