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Mata Ortiz Ceramics Exhibition a Huge Success in Brazil
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September 19, 2011
From August 25-27, for the first time in the recent history of Mata Ortiz pottery, this Mexican art form was shown in Brazil during the Contaf 2011 Exposition.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Claudia Lovera, owner of the Mata Ortiz Art Gallery in Puerto Vallarta, and Pabla Quezada, ceramist from the town of Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, recently traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to participate in the National Congress of Techniques for the Arts of Fire (Contaf, Portuguese initials).

Pabla held a very successful workshop and Claudia gave a brilliant presentation that impacted and moved the interested audience gathered at the Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance’s Bunkyo Space, where the congress took place.

Interviewed upon her return to Puerto Vallarta, Claudia Lovera appeared quite motivated; she expressed her satisfaction on the great success attained by the Mexican art form in the South American country. She had words of praise for the event, as well as for the organizers’ hospitality and amiability. Both were showered with attention and provided with every technical and logistic requirement for a tremendously successful participation.

During the days prior to the convention, a series of workshops and seminars took place at Paula Unger’s workshop, which boasts excellent facilities, including shops, kilns, exhibition areas and an amazing ceramics library.

This is where Pabla’s workshop took place, and surpassed all expectations. The techniques she demonstrated about the exquisite ceramics of Mata Ortiz drew a huge turnout, up to the point where she had to do two demonstrations, given such large audience. Many attended unregistered, as the workshop’s planned capacity was widely surpassed.

Pabla’s professionalism was striking; she took the time to answer every question posed by the students. Later, a piece of ceramic was burned, using the traditional Mata Ortiz technique, which includes the use of manure as combustible material, along with wood. All together, over 160 people attended the demonstration and the firing of the ceramic piece.

Claudia Lovera’s presentation was at the main conference at the congress; she spoke to an audience of over 300 ceramists – both professional and amateur – producers, professors and students at Bunkyo Space.

She was commended for her conference, and some confessed having been moved to tears by Juan Quezada’s story, who as a child taught himself to make ceramics, with nothing but inspiration from old pieces found in the place where he grew up, giving origin to the rebirth of an ancient art that he shared with his community and has become today’s pride of all Mexicans: Mata Ortiz ceramics.

Claudia and Pabla stayed in Sao Paulo throughout the convention and enjoyed the many activities included in the program, like the outstanding participation of guest speaker Joaquim Chavarria, a Spanish ceramist and author, considered the most prolific author of books on ceramics in the world.

Claudia and Pabla’s participation in Contaf raised great interest among the ceramics community in Brazil, and as result, they established contact with outstanding personalities.

Negotiations are underway to organize related activities throughout Mexico, which will largely benefit Mexican art – ceramics in particular – as well as tourism, and will contribute to promoting Puerto Vallarta in South America.