In my very first trip to Oaxaca years ago, I was enchanted by the wonderful colorful garden pots throughout the patios of Las Golondrinas. The owner told me it would be too complicated to explain where he got them, but I was determined to find them anyway!
Dolores Porras has been creating pots for over 50 of her 65+ years. She is in the village of Santa Maria Atzompa, Oaxaca, and worked with her husband Alfredo since they married in 1954 (when she was 17) until he died a couple of years ago. When she was young, she worked with the traditional green glazes of the village and she and her husband also produced clay "munecas," or figures of women, for the famous Teodora Blanco.
Alfredo died just a few years ago and Dolores' production was curtailed by his illness and death. In the past year or so, Dona Dolores has become more productive again. There are attempts by many in the villageto copy her work, but it is distinguished not only by the translucent glaze, but by the inimitable Picasso-like naïve figures that she paints or builds on the the surface of the pieces. Her mermaids, lizards, fish, turtles and snakes enchant the viewer! She is an incredibly creative Mexican folk artist!
Reference: Lois Wasserspring, Oaxacan Ceramics, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000.