Iván Pugga González, Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes
The white or Mayólics earthenware is a traditional ceramic that was brought by the Spanish in the 16th century and gained special relevance in three cities of the Mexican Republic: Puebla, where it was called talavera, Guanajuato and Aguascalientes. In Aguascalientes, the Guadalupe neighborhood was one of the last areas to stop producing it at the end of the 80s, but its influence and tradition remained impregnated in the
identity of all Aguascalientes.
Eleven years ago, concerned and with a special interest in this technique and craft work, Iván Pugga, a graduate of the University of the Arts, began his project to rescue this majolica. The artist and
entrepreneur elucidates that since he was trained at that university, he always had a special interest in this material and once he started working at the Centro de Artes Oficios he was able to begin his approach in a more direct way.
Iván started with practice, and once he got fully involved, he obtained a scholarship from Conaculta for “rescuing cultural heritage. To Iván, the concept of ceramics with which he works is “authorship”, that is, he does not produce ceramics in industrial volumes, since his idea is to preserve the artisanal aspect and create smaller and more exclusive collections.
After several years working in the Center for Arts and Crafts, Iván realized that many of the people who attend the workshops did so with the purpose of self-employment. He was concerned about creating training to help carry his new trade to more people and teach the process in more depth — the production of ceramics, pastes, enamels, firing.
Iván initiated a project called yacimientos de arraigo, which dealt with the experimentation of clays from different regions of the state. He finally opted to use two clays, both for majolica pieces and others for high temperature work — the project had excellent results — the clay contains kaolin and feldspar, which add plasticity, strength, etc. to his pieces. The color of the clay was also tested and experimented with to keep it as close to the colors used in the.
Iván started his own ceramics workshop where he employs several young people with training in art and industrial design. His idea is to be able to take his training to communities and even create alliances with municipalities, so that people perceive this trade as a source of income, while preserving this rich tradition.
It has been deeply gratifying for Iván to have been a fundamental part in the rescue of a cultural tradition. As a first-generation ceramicist, this project has also strengthened his sense of identify in the world of ceramics. He works with two other people in his taller (workshop) who are in charge of material preparation, polishing, glazing and loading the kiln.
Although they already have a physical space in the Purísima neighborhood of Aguascalientes, Iván recently received support from the Ministry of Economic Development to acquire equipment and machinery to continue growing this rescue project. Iván has become publicly acknowledged by the INAH and the Aguascalientes Municipal Government for the rescue of cultural heritage — Mayólic de Aguascalientes
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