Quemada Barro Cereal Bowls and Pasta Bowls

Quemada Barro Cereal Bowls and Pasta Bowls

Created exclusively for our collection with local earth, these slow made bowls feature unique markings from the pit fire process and a lovely neutral hue of pinky peach that blend well with a range of styles and colours. 

Every custom work is created with local clay, then slowly pit fired over the span of six hours – a process that results in durable, elegant works that are supreme examples of Mexican artistry. 

Our award-winning master artisan partner has been producing custom pottery works for over 37 years. While her mother showed her the basics of working with clay, she is self-taught, and divides her time between creating her masterpieces, and teaching art at a local school. These pottery vessels are a crucial element to the local culture in her community and have been made in the region for thousands of years. 

In addition to pottery, this community is also well known for natural dyes, embroidery work and their brass bands.

Quemada Barro Pasta Bowl

Hand wash, and do not place in the dish washer or microwave. These pieces are food safe, however care should be taken to not place anything greasy inside, as that will stain the surface. As these pieces are natural, unglazed pottery, they forks and knives will also leave marks on the surface. In time, and with use, these plates will develop a lovely patina. We do not consider these marks of time to be flaws, but a beautiful reminder of the process and materials, as well as meals shared among friends. 

These pieces will also smell like earth when they are washed and be cold to the touch after rinsed. This is normal, given the material. 


Handmade Barro Rojo Custom Comales

Handmade Barro Rojo Custom Comales

Handmade in the Valles Centrales of Oaxaca, Mexico by a master artisan woman who comes from a family of women who have been producing pottery for over three generations. 

Both utilitarian and traditional art piece, barro rojo pottery can be found in a variety of areas – from outdoor food vendors to elegant restaurant tables. It is often what comals are made out of locally here in the valley. Comals are used to cook tortillas, and are generally coated with water and lime, so that the corn doesn’t stick. You can also cook other things like eggs, chilis and so on on this surface. Some homes throughout Mexico do not have a stove or oven, as all cooking is done over a fire and on a comal. 

The clay is sourced from local agricultural fields, dried in the sun, smashed into dust, sifted until clean, then mixed with sand and water. This mixture is kneaded like dough, in order to get the air pockets out. After this, the clay is ready to use.

The vessels are shaped by hand, and then made on a simple wheel that is comprised of a stone with a small board on top, as it has been in their village for hundreds of years. The finishes and smooth texture are added through the use of corn husks, oil cloth, stones and coconut shells.

The pottery is pit fired for roughly one hour to arrive at the ideal hue. The pit fire consists of carefully stacked pottery pieces. Very small pieces usually go inside of larger ones, so that they don’t get lost during the process. The pit fire is then built underneath, inside and around the pieces from wood, dried grasses and agave hearts, along with other elements. A sheet of metal is placed overtop, and large pieces of old, broken pottery are placed around the extremities, in order to keep the heat in. The fire is lit, and is regularly fed for over an hour. This is hot, intensive work that is unfortunately not a super healthy method for the lungs of the artisans, long-term.  

Typically, these sisters leave their pit fire to burn out overnight, then they pull the pieces from the cooled ash the next day. They’re rinsed in water, dried, then vigorously burnished with stones to encourage sheen and for the pieces to be a little less porous. That said, these pieces are made from unglazed pottery, and with this, greasy items will stain the pieces, water will filter, as they are still porous, and the piece will smell like earth when it’s being washed. This is natural as the piece is handmade with earth. 

Handmade Barro Rojo Custom Comales

We are happy to report that this artisan and her sister recently qualified for a fully funded smoke-free stove build, which means that once it is all ready to go and tested, they will be able to fire more pieces at one time, which means they spend less on fire materials, and they also won’t need to ingest smoke during the process. There has been a short hold on the completion of this project, give the current pandemic, but it’s nearly done, so they have already been testing pieces with firing sessions, so they are well en route to using this stove for new orders moving forward.

In addition to being a timeless design, these colanders are also safe for oven, gas range, food service and are 100% lead-free. Like all of the pieces from our handmade collections, these pieces vary slightly in size, hue, shape and some will feature burn marks due to the pit fire process. Personally, I love the burn marks!