When it is finally built I proceed to trim the excess clay, and start the design, etching, cutting, bas-relief, high relief, pastillaje (small pieces of clay added onto the main surface).
The next step is the first burnishing, done with a mamey fruit seed, a piece of bamboo, or a deer’s antler. The piece is left to dry for approximately 10 days. When ready it is burnished with a quartz stone bringing out the natural beautiful sheen.
After the last burnishing the pieces are place in an underground kiln for 12 hours. This is how the clay turns into a beautiful black.
As you can see, a piece takes about 25 to 30 days to create!
I think my work’s main differences with that of other traditional black clay artist are that I incorporate design elements, I have a specific process of creation, a methodology and most of all they have meaning. They are not made just for the sake of making them. I obsess over the design, the line-work, symmetry, and composition and of course the theme of my work.
I plan on teaching children how to work with clay so they fall in love with it, and continue our ancestral legacy. If they have the talent I would like to teach them what I’ve learned. I feel compelled to preserve, encourage and get people to know about this art.
I would like to keep on learning and reaching new heights with my art, creating innovative pieces so that hopefully, more people become aware of my work.
I would like to end this short introduction to my work with one of my favorite quotes by the best Mexican Architect, Luis Barragan: