Manuel Jerónimo Reyes Santa Fe de la Laguna Michoacán

Manuel Jerónimo Reyes
Santa Fe de la Laguna Michoacán

Manuel Jerónimo Reyes makes splendid candelabras, where you can place from one to 25 candles, whose elaboration is carried out based on a mixture of clays that he harvests in two nearby mines. Born in 1957 in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Michoacán, and since he was a child he was able to appreciate the manufacture of ceramics from the hands of his grandfather, who would come down from the mountains to have lunch with his grandson at mid-morning and then they would go to the workshop, where the old man would dedicate himself with care to his work of clay figures, while the boy would sit and watch him.

In addition to the candelabras, which are his specialty, he also crafts incense burners, pots, plates and other utilitarian objects upon request. It is worth noting that he once made a chess set to participate in a contest in Morelia and won first prize. All his pieces are made in molds. Even the appliqué details that decorate his pottery are made in molds inherited from his grandfather or his mother, who was also a great potter, or in those that he himself has made.

Manuel uses a "special" clay for his pieces that results from the combination of red and white clay, a malleable and fire-resistant "melcocha". He molds his pieces, assembles them and polishes them with stones he finds; then he glues the applique, which usually consists of small figures of doves and other birds, since decorated pieces tend to sell better. He has tried decorating his work with fish or other animals, but the favorites are birds.

Once he finishes a piece he places it in a closed room, "so the clay can dry in peace." After three or four days, he puts them in an outdoor wood-fired kiln that reaches a temperature of about 600° C (1100° F).  The next day he applies the glaze or greta, as it is known, which contains cobalt oxide or cobalt blue and is put on to produce the characteristic glossy black hue. After the pieces are glazed, they are put into the kiln again, now at varying temperatures from 900-1000° C (1650-1830° F). They are then removed from the kiln, cleaned and ready to be sold. If the pots or utensils will be used for cooking, then use a lead-free glaze that is non-toxic.

Calle Hiquingaje SN

Comunidad Santa Fe de la Laguna

Quiroga, Michoacan

454 354 920

454 354 9138 (mensaje)