The Ortega family has been working in barro betus for generations. Also called Cerámica Fantástica (Fantastic Ceramics) because of the bright colors used, barro betus gets its name from the oil bath it receives in aceite de betus (oil of betus - a resin extracted from the pine tree) before it is fired. Santa Cruz de las Huertas, a suburb of Tonalá is known as the main producers of barro betus. Subject matter you will find ranges from roosters, coyotes, owls, figures to Trees of Life - all made with a whimsical sense of fun and bright colors. The Ortega family is well known for his Arboles de la Vida (Trees of Life).
This generation of artists were taught by their father, Eleuterio Ortega Hernandez, and his grandmother, Natividad Hernandez. Generation to work with barro betus. Their grandparents worked in the fields in the planting and harvesting seasons and in their spare time were engaged in developing their art.Gerardo's grandmother designed pieces such as roosters, animals, candlesticks, chests of animals and fruits, covered with nahuales (a human being who has the power to magically turn him- or herself into an animal form, most commonly donkey, turkey and dogs, but also other and more powerful animals) bodies and surrealistic figures. The origin of barro betus dates back to colonial times and is surrounded by myths. The most popular pieces of art are the colorful Nahual figures with the reputation of coming from a magical world. The process begins with "tortillando" or kneading the clay into unique shapes. The kiln is readied and fires pieces created several days before. Before firing, the clay is black. The pieces have to be dried in the open air before baking them or they will explode. The firing is done at a very low temperature compared to other types of ceramics. Each figure is rubbed with birch oil just before firing, giving them a lacquered appearance once finished.
Kilns are simple brick holes covered with old tiles. The village of Santa Cruz de las Huertas, Jalisco is the only village that makes barro betus which is one of the seven traditional ceramic techniques that Tonalá has become famous for. The item "Lg Vase Covered with Dog Heads Clay Handmade Mexican Folk Art Ortega Barro Betus" is in sale since Sunday, July 12, 2020. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Cultures & Ethnicities\Latin American\Mexico\Pottery". The seller is "oaxacanarts" and is located in Dedham, Massachusetts.This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Dominican republic, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, El salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Antigua and barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint lucia, Turks and caicos islands, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Viet nam, Uruguay, Russian federation.