It indeed is going to be a busy day with the drive from Oaxaca City to these smaller pueblos in the area. After San Martin Tilcajete we will be off to either Ocotlan or Coyotepec, depending on the direction we are going this day. You might recall that Ocotlan is where we hope to see a third generation blacksmith produce exquisite swords and knives of various sizes.
The ancient and well-chronicled Old World knife-making technique is still practiced in the town of Ocotlán, by Apolinar Águilar. The master craftsman fashions knives, machetes, swords and much more, using only recycled materials. He demonstrates the use of his wood and skin bellows, stone and mud hearth, and a series of hammers, chisels, and other forging tools he himself makes to his exacting specifications. His products range from letter openers, to hunting and butchers’ knives, to turkey carving and cutlery sets, to martial arts weapons, and custom collector pieces. Even the fine finishes of the blades and handles are creating naturally, without the use of chrome or nickel, varnish or lacquer.
Although the video is in Spanish it gives you an overview of the manufacture
Barro negro pottery (“black clay”) is a style of pottery from Oaxaca, Mexico, distinguished by its color, sheen and unique designs. Oaxaca is one of few Mexican states which is characterized by the continuance of its ancestral crafts, which are still used in everyday life. Barro negro is one of several pottery traditions in the state, which also include the glazed green pieces of Santa María Atzompa; however, barro negro is one of the best known and most identified with the state. It is also one of the most popular and appreciated styles of pottery in Mexico.The origins of this pottery style extends as far back as the Monte Alban period and for almost all of this pottery’s history, had been available only in a grayish matte finish. In the 1950s, a potter named Doña Rosa devised a way to put a black metallic like sheen onto the pottery by polishing it before firing. This look has made the pottery far more popular. From the 1980s to the present, an artisan named Carlomagno Pedro Martínez has promoted items made this way with barro negro sculptures which have been exhibited in a number of countries.
Must be time for lunch by now…especially if you are carrying those shopping bags…lol
Next up one of the most outstanding ruins Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site in the Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán Municipality in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.