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Barrios Home Workshop

Ceramic sculptures and vessels in Mexico

“The splendid Ancient City of Teotihuacan represents my cultural roots, due to its amazing artisan history, which... read more

“The splendid Ancient City of Teotihuacan represents my cultural roots, due to its amazing artisan history, which introduces us to life and ancient customs.

“Hello, I am Enrique Barrios Sanchez. I was 8 years old when my father taught me this trade. I liked it so much that I started to make my own crafts, always with the help of my father; and since then, we have been working in this trade for sixty years.

“Teopanacazco Casa Barrios is the name of our workshop. Teopanacazco means “House of the Potter”, and it was also a Teotihuacan housing complex where my grandfather José María Barrios lived. Since 1887 they were potters from Teotihuacan. My father continues with the pottery tradition, reproducing beautiful ceremonial and utilitarian pieces inspired by the Teotihuacan culture. It is a wonderful family tradition, a legacy of our ancestors for current and future generations to know through pieces that represent our roots. Currently, my family collaborates in the growth of our workshop. We support each other in various activities, from the extraction of clay to decoration, engraving and the rest of the process.

“One of the greatest challenges is to make figures as extraordinary as those made by the ancient Teotihuacan masters. To make the pieces, we use three types of clay; black, yellow, and sandy. We use the feathery bulrushes of the tule plant, as well as mineral paints and other materials. To be able to mold the figures, we use wooden tools or instruments in the shape of a pencil, an oven made of stone and organic firewood. All these materials are a bit difficult to work with. It is heavy to excavate the mud from the mine and knead it, since the whole process is by hand. Finally the paintings are created in the workshop.

“I really like the shapes, the faces, the colors and the nobility of the material. The taste for this trade is essential to acquire mastery in this art. I am willing to continue learning; there is still a long way of knowledge to go, and why not strive to become like the great Teotihuacan masters?

“It has been difficult to be self-employed, but we continue to move forward despite marketing difficulties, lack of outreach, and sadly unfair competition. I want people to learn about this wonderful craft, so that it generates sources of employment in the archaeological zone of Teotihuacan.”

9 items by Barrios Home Workshop

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