Today, friends Sharon and Sueki, a woman visiting from Tucson Texas who we met at Pachote Oganic Market, and I joined a tour of Mexican artist’s homes in San Agustin Etla…about half an hour north of the city. Many of these artists are famous in Mexico and beyond and their art was striking…one a ceramicist who has develped a new process mixing clay with polyester that burns out in the firing…leaving air tunnels in the tile so his gigantic wall hangings are lighter.
One…a hand-made paper artist…gave us a history of paper and an ecological perspective. We also visited a jaw-dropping art museum that is located in an old huge thread factory that has recently been restored under the tutelage of the famous Mexican artist Toledo. The four colors of clay found in Oaxaca…orange, green, yellow and red…combine to create a beautiful setting for a gallery and paper factory overlooking the San Augustin valley.
Then we join photographer, Marietta Bernstarff, (born in Mexico but educated in the U.S. and who also led the tour through the thread factory) in her beautiful home overlooking the mountains and valleys of San Augustin. http://www.laluztalleres.com/about.htm. She remarked that most of the people in this valley are not Oaxacans but descendents of the workers imported here from all over Mexico to build the original factory.
After stopping at a small open-air restaurant for Comida Corrida (midday meal) where we had chicken mole and a beer, we stopped by the home of a Dutch couple that have lived in San Augustin about 15 years. Ineke Granstadts is a jewelry-maker whose daughter markets her jewelry all over the U.S. including Manhattan. We wanted to see her studio she made by hand out of straw bales and stucco.
Then we circled through some other valleys..a beautiful day in a monsoon rain…taking pictures along the way….ending the day with hot chocolate in Oaxaca City.