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Mata Ortiz pottery return for fifth year to Cabot’s Pueblo Museum Friday through Sunday

Live flames are used to fire a Mata Ortiz pot, which will be contained by a large pot to contain the smoke which will also turn the pottery black.
Live flames are used to fire a Mata Ortiz pot, which will be contained by a large pot to contain the smoke which will also turn the pottery black.
 As a young man Juan Quezada became fascinated by the artifacts of the pre-Hispanic pottery of Paquimé in the Mexican state of Chihuahua and taught himself to recreate the pottery by studying and experimenting with native materials of the area.

Mata Ortiz, named after the town where Quezada later taught his family to make the intricately decorated pottery, is how the modernized hand-made clay pots are now known and collected worldwide.

One of the major shows for this pottery in the U.S. is the annual Mata Ortiz Pottery Event held for the past four years at Cabot’s Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs.

The Fifth Annual Mata Ortiz Pottery and Taxco Shard Jewelry event is coming up Feb. 28 through March 2 on the grounds of the Desert Hot Springs museum.

This year’s show features art by Martin Cota, considered to be one of the most innovative younger Mata Ortiz potters, and Miguel E. Quezada, younger brother of famed potter Damian Quezada and a nephew of Juan Quezada.

The weekend includes demonstrations by both artists from unformed clay to decorative pots and ollas, painting the pottery and outdoor firing techniques.

On Sunday afternoon, families are invited to participate in olla (cooking or storage pots that are often unglazed) painting.

Firing demonstrations and Q&A sessions are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. in the courtyard of the museum, weather permitting

The family olla painting activity will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday while supplies of ollas last.

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is the preserved pueblo build by hand by Cabot Yerxa. The house was built in the style of Hopi pueblos to house Yerxa and his collection of Native American arts and crafts.

Admission to the Fifth Annual Mata Ortiz Pottery and Taxco Shard Jewelry event is free; museum tours are $11. The museum is located at 67616 E. Desert View Avenue in Desert Hot Springs. For information on the museum, call (760) 329-7610 or go to www.cabotsmuseum.org.


Sandra March 28, 2014 at 07:47 PM
It's too bad that I'm just seeing this article for the first time today, March 28. It should have been posted February 25, where it says it was posted. Never saw it. I would have loved to have been to this event, as well as other museum docents.
Steven Narbonne April 01, 2014 at 05:24 PM
I totally agree with Sandra. It is an outrage that this event was not made known well before hand. I would have loved to attend it.
Judith Salkin April 01, 2014 at 06:07 PM
So sorry that neither of you saw this earlier -- however, it was uploaded to Patch on Feb. 25. If you are looking for another amazingly cool event, Cabot's Pueblo Museum is hosting its first Kachina Carving Weekend on April 11-13!
Steven Narbonne April 10, 2014 at 01:51 PM
Judith, research the words "made known well before hand."

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