These wonderful pieces of unusual pottery attract many collectors. Hilario Alejos Madrigal and his family live in San José de Gracia, Michoacán. He is one of the masters of this traditional type of ceramic folk art — piñas or pineapple pots. Hilario learned to work with clay at the age of 15, from his famous mother, Elisa Madrigal Martínez.
The production of these ornamental piñas, punch bowls, candlesticks, etc., requires very meticulous skill and talent. He gets his clay from a nearby deposit. First, the clay is placed in sacks and brought to town on donkeys or mules (maybe in a pick-up these days), where the material is cleaned, ground, and sifted. Water is added until the right consistency is achieved. It is let set for a time, before being shaped into the famous piñas.
Each piece is then modeled, decorative elements are added, and the process of drying in the sun begins. Once dry, there is a first burn in a wood kiln, then it is glazed and finished with an additional baking at 900oC.
Hilario has won many awards and his work adorns the cover of the landmark book "The Great Masters of Mexican Popular Art".
Feria Maestros del Arte is
• A "heart show", not just another "art show"
• Non-profit in both Mexico and the U.S.
• Totally run by volunteers who host a yearly November folk art show in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
Created with Love by Landing Mkt.