Agustin Jimón Barba &
María del Rosario Jimón Barba, Tonalá, Jalisco
For more than seven generations, creating pottery has been the focus of the lives of the Jimón family of Tonalá, one of whom is Agustin Jimón Barba.
Agustin's talent is very evident in the beautiful traditional and historical designs he paints on his pottery. The clay he uses comes from the hills near Tonalá. Deposits of black, white and red clay with varying proportions of silica are extracted from the earth for use by the potters who live in the area. He pays a fee to extract great chunks of clay from this area. Once home, the chunks are broken up, ground into a powder and then sifted to remove impurities. Next water is added and the clay begins to "ferment" covered with plastic and set aside for several months.
Smoothed with stones after drying, a slip of pigment is applied to seal the pores of the clay as well as provide a background color. The paints are made by mixing clays and adding earth pigments.
After the slip has dried and the paints are mixed, the decoration (palmeado) is ready to begin. With an ensemble of brushes, some of animal hair, he begins with great skill painting the designs he is so well known for. The final burnishing is done with tallow. The process takes a very long time to ensure the quality of the finished piece. Then it is fired once in an open kiln.
Rosario's mother taught her to work with clay making barro bruñido miniatures when she was about 11 years old. It was then her life began as a craftswoman. She started learning simple things, like smoothing and molding, and her mother would finish the piece.
She also makes normal size pieces. The information above on Agustin, where he finds his clay, how he works, also applies to the techniques used by Rosario.
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