Alfarería Doña Rosa

Handicrafts in San Bartolo Coyotepec

It was doña Rosa Real Mateo (1900−80) who invented the method of burnishing barro negro with quartz stones for the distinctive shine. Her family alfarería (potters’ workshop) is now the biggest in the village, and they demonstrate the process to visitors after 4pm. The pieces are hand-molded by an age-old technique that uses two saucers functioning as a rudimentary potter’s wheel. They are fired in pit kilns and turn black from smoke and from the iron oxide in the clay.

The workshop, a short walk east of the highway, doubles as a shop and is also something of a museum. It's well worth visiting, even if you have no intention of buying.