DOTTED CLAY

The city of Capula in western Mexico is famous for clay pottery.  One style is inspired by a local, wild cherry plant, the capulin, with 5 white petals.  The flowers are the inspiration for a dotted style of pottery decoration called capulineada.  Capulineada looks like the flower with small dots of paint surrounding a larger middle dot.  Artists paint or stamp the design onto the clay before the clay is baked.

Capula bean pot

Origin unknown.  From the collection of Wanda Montemayor.

CLAY STAMPS

Yarn paintings are a traditional form of art using yarn and beeswax.  The Huichol of Mexico are known for this unique and ancient art technique.  Yarn paintings are a form of storytelling about creation.  Huichol artists use symbols, animals and plants to tell the myths of their ancestors.  Some paintings show daily life such as the growing of corn and beans.  The ones that tell dreams about their gods are more complicated with many symbols and bright colors.

clay stamp

Mexico, 1400-1519

Tools and Equipment; stamps, Ceramic, 2 × 2 3/4 × 1 in. (5.08 × 6.99 × 2.54 cm)

Gift of Constance McCormick Fearing (M.86.311.11) Art of the Ancient Americas

YARN PAINTINGS

Yarn paintings are a traditional form of art using yarn and beeswax.  The Huichol of Mexico are known for this unique and ancient art technique.  Yarn paintings are a form of storytelling about creation.  Huichol artists use symbols, animals and plants to tell the myths of their ancestors.  Some paintings show daily life such as the growing of corn and beans.  The ones that tell dreams about their gods are more complicated with many symbols and bright colors.

Huichol yarn painting

By Juan Carlos Fonseca Mata - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41375434

HAND-MADE TILES

Volunteers designed tiles with stamps or by writing their name or a phrase into the clay.  Slabs were also decorated in the dotted clay style using glazes.  The lead artist placed the decorated slabs in a kiln using high temperatures to harden the clay.  The ceramic tiles were then attached to the mural backing by a team of artists.  The tiles were arranged in a design inspired by Huichol yarn paingings.

Example of hand-made tiles from the mural

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