Artisans’ hands reflect its legacy in every
piece they create.
Barro Negro is produced in San Bartolo Coyotepec in the state of Oaxaca, where pottery passed from generation
to generation has always been a tradition. Around 95% of the inhabitants are dedicated to this craft.
It is highly appreciated in Mexico and internationally. Oaxaca is widely known for rescuing ancestral crafts.
Rich in celebrations, rites, music and art, it reflects its roots onto its present culture.
Barro Negro means black clay. It is distinguished by its dark black color and sheen. Its origins extend as far
back as the Monte Alban period, examples are still found at archeological sites. Up to this time it is being
shaped in the same way the ancient Zapotec used to do.
The process of Barro Negro starts by combining previously cleaned earth with water, creating clay. This is
molded by hand or poured into a mold, and then left to form for a couple of minutes, after this, the piece is
set to dry in well-insulated rooms, which protects them from sudden changes in temperature. The piece is then
fired and smoked in underground pits, using wood fires. The heat will rise between 700 °C and 800 °C.
After a couple of hours, the piece is then removed from the smoke and heat. Every piece takes around 20- 30 days to complete.
The process of Barro Negro starts by combining previously cleaned earth with water, creating clay. This is molded by hand or poured into a mold.
The piece is then made wet on the surface and rubbed with tools to compress the clay.
An important factor which reinforces its dark appearance is the earth used, which is found in San Bartolo Coyotepec.