Rodrigo de la Cruz Cabrera & Esteban de la Cruz Miranda, San Agustin Oapan, Guerrero
Esteban de la Cruz and his son, Rodrigo de la Cruz Cabrera, from San Agustin Oapan in the state of Guerrero, a very isolated community, are members of a family that has been making decorated pottery for more than five generations. They hope to be able to continue this tradition and that future generations will dedicate themselves to this activity.
San Agustín Oapan is one of the most traditional villages in the region. Recently, the pottery decorated with natural pigments has been replaced by industrial pottery made in Iguala and
Cuernavaca, painted with acrylic colors for the tourist trade. Although there are artisans who continue to decorate with natural pigments, many are migrating to ceramics made from molds and decorated with acrylic paint.
The de la Cruz family makes unique pieces with the technique of their ancestors, collecting clay from nearby places and using trees and other plants to elaborate their pigments. Their burnings are done in the open air, with organic fuels such as cow and horse dung. They are known mainly for the creation of rustic figures of animals and people, and for their "aguadoras" and "canteros", as well as other vessels in the form of guajes. Decoration includes nativity scenes, birds and plants.
Esteban and Rodrigo have won several national awards, as have other members of their family. However, because they live in an
isolated community, and because of the current problems in the state of Guerrero, it is not easy to acquire their pieces.
In October 2019, a year after Rodrigo and his father, Don Esteban, attended the Feria, Rodrigo was invited to do an artistic residency from October 16 to December 16 in Jingdezhen, China, at the Taoxichuan Jingdezhen international Studio known for its porcelain
David Aceves, Director of the Escuela Nacional de la Cerámica (ENC) offered Rodrigo a scholarship to represent Mexico in China along with other master ceramists from the USA, India, England and Ecuador.
For Rodrigo, it was the opportunity to learn from the other maestros and was an incredible opportunity to visit another part of the world. He brought his own supplies in order to show the Chinese students his technique of how he mixes the materials and how he makes
The students collected clay in Jingdezhen on abandoned land. They mixed it with cotton and sand that Rodrigo had brought from Mexico — they were very surprised at this technique, however, what impressed them the most, was the traditional firing of the pieces.
The young Chinese ceramic students had never seen a traditional firing on the ground and in the open air.
Rodrigo is just one of the many artisans who have exhibited at the Feria and gone on to become universally celebrated with international reach.
San Agustin Oapan, Guerrero
733 189 8302 casa; 733 170 8751 Whatsapp
Facebook: Rodrigo De La Cruz