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Mexican Bird Pottery

It seems that things come my way in cycles or waves. For instance, I started noticing and admiring Mexican bird pottery at antique stores, thrift stores, on Instagram posts, and other random places. It was not something I was seeking; the birds just kept catching my eye.

Primitive Mexican bird pottery

After several times of noticing the Mexican bird pottery, I happened to be in my daughter’s room and what do you know…she had three pieces on her shelf!! Let me introduce you to Tonala’ Mexican pottery. Once you are familiar, its unique look becomes easy to recognize. Since seeing these, I have purchased them in antique stores, thrift stores and even estate sales!

Tonala’ pottery is certainly not just birds. You can find serving pieces, dishes, decorative items and a whole lot more. However, the birds have caught my attention and I am becoming slightly obsessive about finding them in the most unexpected places. To identify them as Mexican bird pottery, look for MEX to be hand painted on the underside; on lucky occasions you may find state abbreviations or artist’s initials. Some of the birds are primitive while others are simply vintage. Either way, if you find one you have found an artisan’s treasure.

So, what is Tonala’ Pottery? To begin with, Tonala’, Jalisco is in the greater metro area of Guadalajara and is home to one of the largest open-air Mexican craft markets. Tonala’ pottery is made of burnished, petatillo (woven straw), canelo (cinnamon) or scented clay and is typically created for decorative use but can also be found as food-safe pottery. The tradition comes from the Tonalteca group, which used clay to produce polished forms. The first designs of these ceramics were inspired by forms found in nature such as vegetables and roots[1]The Ceramics of Tonala’ https://fac.coloradocollege.edu/exhibits/the-ceramics-of-tonala-legacy-of-a-thousand-years/.

Honestly, I would’ve never guessed I would develop such an interest in such a random and unique art form, but you just never know what is going to create curiosity within you. Keep your eyes open for the unusual; it just may become a passion or collection.

Daybook The Curiosity of You

References

References
1 The Ceramics of Tonala’ https://fac.coloradocollege.edu/exhibits/the-ceramics-of-tonala-legacy-of-a-thousand-years/

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