There is a place in the far south of Mexico...

These pages explore the pottery and potters, and other arts and artisans of Oaxaca (wah-HAH-ka) in southern Mexico. They are also about Eric Mindling who has created an adventurous life there locating and exporting this traditional ware, and providing small-group tours to meet and work with the artisans. His work nurtures a fine but waning traditional craft whose roots are lost in distant time. Perhaps you can plan the time to escape the commuting cycle for a few days to join one of the tours. But for now at least through these pages we can live vicariously with him as he searches out new sources of these beautiful works of art for us or scouts another backcactus trip, and at the same time learn a little about the fine pottery and people of this remote place...

Oaxacan Traditional Arts Workshops and Journeys

Manos de Oaxaca and Traditions Mexico present an expanded series of pottery workshops and traditional arts Journeys during 2004-2005. The workshops include hands-on experience in pre-Columbian pottery building techniques in the village of San Marcos Tlapazola. The unique Journeys take visitors back in time for an intimate visit with artisans producing a variety of utilitarian objects by ancient and traditional means, using natural materials. Visits to hidden ruins, wonderful backcactus canyons and springs and a fine museum or two make the Journeys even richer.

Pottery Catalog

Traditional styles of pottery are characterized by great variety from village to village.


Eric is frequently on the move, traveling to remote villages to place and collect orders for pottery, scouting for new pottery villages or tour possibilities. Papa Tony makes occasional trips to Oaxaca, tagging along a bit dazed on some of these adventures. With all of that through the years our cameras have on occasion been in the right place at the right time. Here are some of the selects.

The Potters of Oaxaca

Here in the south of Mexico, honest working vessels have evolved through the millennia to survive in the smoky kitchens of Mesoamerica. This traditional ware, whose roots predate European influence, is threatened with replacement by aluminum and plastic.

Manos de Oaxaca

Manos de Oaxaca (Oaxacan hands) is an organization created by Eric Mindling and based in Oaxaca (Wah-HA-ka), Mexico. It is dedicated to the support and promotion of Oaxacan folk art and artists.

The Villages

Pottery has evolved into distinct forms in response to differing village needs and traditions. Explore seven of these pottery villages from the high desert Valley of Oaxaca to the misty forests of the Sierra Madre.

Tales from the South

What leads a college graduate with a degree in ceramics to trudge dusty roads in worn sandals in search of potters in remote mountain villages? These letter excerpts trace the evolving passion of the founder of Manos de Oaxaca for this region of southern Mexico.

What's New

This web site is a work in progress. Periods of stagnation are on occasion followed by flurries of creative energy. If you're a returning traveler, check in here to find out what may have changed since your last trip south.

Oaxaca Sketchbook

We have pulled a few pages from Eric's well-traveled sketchbook and album, which detail step-by-step clay and firing procedures and document journeys taken in search of the artisans of Oaxaca.

Copyright © 1995-2008 Tony and Eric Mindling