“Open Fires features the latest explorations by Liliana Ovalle and Colectivo 1050º around the firing process used in vernacular ceramics in Oaxaca. The project comprises a variety of exercises where clay pieces are fired in particular geometric setups created with sand, dung and agave leaves. Each composition acquires black traces of smoke and coal, a permanent imprint of the fire they were exposed to.
The clay pieces were formed by the artisans Mujeres del Barro Rojo, a family of female ceramist in Tlapazola who inherited ancestral local techniques for utilitarian red clay pottery. All the ceramics are shaped by hand using a combined technique of coils that are stretched into shape with a corncob. The pieces subsequently go through two different firing processes. An initial open fire, traditionally used in the region, hardens the pieces and makes them stable. In the second stage Ovalle worked closely with the artisans creating different setups for individual contained fires to imprint a black smoked finishing.
Mujeres del Barro Rojo is formed by Angelina Mateo, Amalia Cruz, Alberta Mateo, Dorotea Mateo, Elia Mateo, Macrina Mateo and María Gutiérrez.”