Delfina Cruz & Ernesto Vasquez

Ernesto Vasquez and Delfina Cruz live in the village of Santa Maria Atzompa, close to the city of Oaxaca. They spent most of their lives making "corriente," or everyday pottery, but in the past several years, they have become well known for their charming figures, or muñecas. which means dolls in Spanish. Their daughter, Angelica Vasquez, has become one of the most famous ceramic folk artists in Mexico and she learned many of her skills from her parents, who are now in their 70's. The clay they use comes from two nearby villages.
Delfina and Ernesto share the task of making each muñeca. Delfina forms the cone-shaped bases of the female figures. Ernesto completes the details of the bodies and faces and then ornaments them with intricately-formed flowers, birds, and other fanciful objects, which cover the pieces like rich embroidery. Most pieces are fired one time and there is no additional color added for ornamentation. But occasionally, Angelica paints the colored slips for which she is famous onto her parents' figures before they are fired and adds her festive colors to the pieces.