Dona Rosa Real de Nieto stood out as a
unique artisan in Coyotepec for many years. Her studio's work has
received numerous awards and is included in collections world-wide
including those of Rockefeller and the Smithsonian Institute in the
The technique she developed to give the
black pottery its trademark sheen is the burnishing of the pot with
quartz. No glazes are used.
She worked in her shop demonstrating her
abilities to those who came to visit until the day of her death in
1980. Her son and grandchildren continue the family traditions.
The potters of Coyotepec continue to use
their traditional method of turning pots without a wheel. The
technique uses two concave clay plates, one upside down supporting the
other. This method is of pre-hispanic inheritance, the pieces are
molded on this device. The entire process to develop a finished piece
takes 20 to 30 days and goes from molding to decoration, to slow
drying in closed rooms, polishing with a quartz stone and finally to
baking where the pieces acquire their notable black color.
The pottery production of Coyotepec is
mostly decorative because it will not hold water unless it is double
fired. Double firing produces a grayish color, which are often used
to hold mezcal, the local drink. In addition to pots, other works
produced locally include animal figures, candelabras and a great
variety other decorative items.