The Art of Black Clay Pottery

The Art of Black Clay Pottery

Step into the captivating world of Oaxacan black clay pottery, where surrounded by the beauty of San Bartolo Coyotepec, Yolanda Pacheco's skilled hands, craft an enchanting narrative of tradition, innovation, and the mystical transformation of local clay into timeless masterpieces.

A journey that begins at Las Minas, Oaxaca, a significant source of rich, mineral-laden clay for black pottery, known as "barro negro." 

As we witness Yolanda's hands carefully shape and mold the clay with precision, using traditional techniques passed down through generations. This intricate process breathes life into the clay, shaping vessels that resonate with the cultural richness of Oaxaca. And takes a magical turn in the firing process, as the clay, exposed to high temperatures in kilns, strengthens, and the iconic ebony hue emerges. 

It's a transformative alchemy that defines Oaxacan black pottery. With high iron content, as the clay is placed in kilns it undergoes a crucial firing process that creates a chemical transformation, turning ferrous and resulting in the characteristic deep black color. 

To achieve the shiny metallic tone, artisans employ meticulous finishing. Polishing with smooth stones or burnishing tools and applying a thin layer of natural polish enhance the shine, giving the pottery its glossy appearance and adding a protective layer.


The unique clay from Las Minas, firing technique, and artisanal finishing create Oaxaca’s black pottery's striking appearance—a harmonious blend of natural elements, traditional craftsmanship, and passion, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Oaxaca.


Rooted in tradition yet transcending boundaries, Yolanda's dedication not only preserves Oaxacan black pottery's authenticity but also acts as a global bridge. Her entrepreneurial spirit propels this ancient art form beyond its traditional confines, connecting with art enthusiasts worldwide.

Yolanda Pacheco isn't just an artisan; she's a cultural guardian. As the first woman to be the president of the board of directors at "La Casa de las Artesanías de Oaxaca," she actively works towards preserving Oaxaca’s heritage and passing it on to future generations. Her story is one of tradition, innovation, and a commitment to preserving the rich cultural heritage of Oaxaca for the world to cherish.

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