Michoacán is a world reference in popular art, a land of pre-Hispanic ancestral techniques that has the largest number of artisan processes in Mexico distributed in its seven regions, the result of a fusion of cultures that is manifested in a varied craftsmanship, of great aesthetic value and diversity of techniques. The burnished pottery is characterized by the magnificent shine and smooth texture achieved by polishing with a river stone, pyrite stone or in some cases with a corn cob. In Patamban unique pottery is made, modeled and decorated by hand, painted with a white hue, it is one of the most traditional crafts of the Sierra Tarasca with flashes of the indigenous tradition combined with the Spanish that has evolved into an important current of mestizo pottery. This piece elaborated by the outstanding artisan Vicente Sebastián Contreras is molded and decorated completely by hand, conserves the structure of the natural clay, in which the tonality of the red clay is the protagonist. The pastillaje stands out with a ribbon of fine applications in relief, modeled in the form of flowers with foliage framed by a wavy decoration. Burnishing is a pre-Columbian technique that consists, once a piece is decorated, in polishing the surface with a pyrite stone to close the pores of the clay, giving it softness and smoothness to the surface, as well as a special shine. The burnished pottery of Patamban is characterized by being modeled by hand and preserves the Colonial tradition. Burnishing is a technique used to smooth the surface and make it more shiny and water resistant, it is characterized by its smooth and shiny finish, which is often decorated with geometric patterns, floral motifs or animal figures or pastillaje. Patamban potters use local clay and traditional techniques. Patamban pottery has been recognized for its quality and beauty, and has been the subject of exhibitions in museums and art galleries around the world. Vicente Sebastián Contreras welcomes us into his home, which is also his workshop. On one side of the bed, he exhibits his pieces on two tables that he protects with cloth and plastic. The firing of his pieces is done in an oven that he himself has built in an open area in the front yard, he is one of the most prolific artisans of Michoacán, winner of the Award for Best Piece of Innovation with Tradition in the Grand Prix of Popular Art 2018, First place in the Grand Prix of Popular Art 2020, Honorable Mention in the 2nd Mexican Folk Toy Museum Contest, second place in the National Folk Art Award 2021, first place in the Patamban Pottery Artisan Contest, second place in the Patzcuaro State Crafts Contest 2022, to mention the most important ones.
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