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Mata Ortiz Potters

Lydia Quezada, the youngest of Juan Quezada's siblings, has put her own stamp on significant Mata Ortiz pottery. Black on black with a tulip lip is her hallmark style. It's not only this distinctive style that makes her pieces stand out. There is grace and flow, a subtle and gentle sensuality that sets her pieces apart.

Amazingly, her signature style almost never happened, coming about as accident when she was firing a polychrome pot. Covering that pot with a bucket, she pressed it tightly into the earth, cutting off air from getting to the pot. And thus Lydia discovered the reduction firing method, the process of trapping carbon which is then absorbed into the pot that's being fired.

There are times Lydia will take a week or more designing and painting a pot...but without ever touching the pot. Instead, she is creating the pot in her imagination. She explains that in this way the painting on the pot is truly an extension of herself, flowing from her, through her fingers, to the clay surface.

Just a few years ago, Lydia began teaching her daughter, Pabla, the art of making Mata Ortiz pottery. Lydia is also the one who taught her husband, Rito Talavera. Pabla's pottery is similar to her mother's polychrome and black on black. Lydia makes all styles, including white and polychrome. And now a new style of three tone black on black.

She is known affectionately in the village as the “Queen.” Among collectors of Mata Ortiz, she is known as Lydia.