For the first one, in Oaxaca, we collaborated with Bertha Zárate Blanco whose families have worked with pottery for many, many generations in a place called Atzompa.
Santa Maria Atzompa is located 10 minutes north from Oaxaca. It is a small town known for being a pottery community since Monte Alban times, we are talking around the year 500 B.C. Contemporary Atzompa is still dedicated to pottery and it’s even the base of its economy. From the 20,000 population, 90% of its inhabitants is dedicated to this kind of work. In this town, the workshops are also people’s homes.
Poverty is a common issue, so education is usually not an option, as young people become part of the workforce, contributing to the household and the pottery workshops. Fortunately, working with clay becomes a passion easily. Both of the workshops we collaborated with had around 10 people working in them, but even though it’s a family business, each and every one of them had their own personal and unique style.
Pitahaya came from a talk with Berthas Family, I came to their workshop at 9 am, when i arrived they were having breakfast and invited me in. 12 family members having as breakfast egg with salsa and very big tortillas handmade by Berthas Aunt, and coffee. they told me a story about regional plants and what represents to them. Eligio, Bertha’s brother talked about the beautiful way pitahaya bloom. I got inspired, and tell them if they wanted to express that bloom in the piece we will be working on, all 12 family members loved the idea, and yelled SI!
Three different pieces which function as a family, the same way the Zarate family does, express the movement in the blooming of a Dragon Fruit, a bloom that could as well be from a different planet. The organic lines along with the color and texture of this type of clay, give this set of lamps a warm yet modern aesthetic.