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Huancito pots: Another story behind the art!

buying artesania Huancito pottery

Jul 12, 2021, 3:19 PM

Hola. soy trabajador de estas artesanias no se si les interese comprarmelas

Los cantaros que tienes alli son pintados por mi

Yo soy jesus espicio felipe

Y la foto que tienes alli es de mi papa martin espicio jacuinde

"Hi. I work in this artesania. I don't know if you're interested in buying from me. The pots you have there were painted by me. I am Jesus Espicio Felipe and the photo you have there is of my father Martin Espicio Jacuinde."

ME:  Entonces conozco tu papá, abuelo y abuela. Guadalupe es tu tía, verdad? Ella hizo la torre en la foto. Y la olla blanca está firmado con tu nombre. Vendimos todas las otras pero tu olla está en nuestra sala  Decidimos no venderla.  

"I know your father and grandparents.Guadalupe is your aunt, right? She made the tower in the photo. And the white pot is signed by youWe sold all the others but your pot is in our living room. We decided not to sell it."

JESUS: Ooo si yo la pinte "Oh, yes, I painted that one."

ME: Está hermosa! Cómo me encontraste?

"It’s beautiful! How did you find me?"

JESUS: En el face

So this is how our relationship with Jesus began, and how doing business with artisans of Hunacito has evolved over time. The photo above he found on “Face” (i.e. Facebook) was from many years ago when we exhibited in Petaluma, California for El Día de los Muertos. And the photos displayed there are of his father, Martin, with his little brother, and one of his aunt, Maria Guadalupe-- a very talented artisan who made the tower of pots there, and the gorgeous two- toned one below that is also in our private collection.


The pandemic has definitely affected our ability to buy certain kinds of artesania. We've managed to receive some textiles, table linens, and pottery from artisans we've known for years and with whom we can communicate via WhatsApp. And we picked up some other pieces on a short trip to Michoacán in early June. But we didn’t see the artisans from Huancito selling around the plazas in Patzcuaro or Morelia while we were there, and there wasn’t enough time to visit the village on that trip. It was the first time we’d been in Mexico on a buying trip since 2005 and not picked up some of their pots, and we had none in our inventory either! It just didn’t feel right to be without-- plus the holidays are coming and those pots are a customer favorite. I remembered one of our customers purchasing a white pot as a Christmas gift for his wife, and she declared it “the best present she’d ever received”. I just received confirmation that her pot was by Jesus Espicio as well.

We have a lot of incredible memories (both good and bad) of buying and selling these amazing pots. And we’ve also witnessed times when various artisans of Huancito were harassed by local authorities, not permitting them to sell in public spaces. I love their art and enjoy sharing it with folks in the U.S. So I decided I had to get more, and after looking at the many photos of his work that he sent me, I reached out to Jesus to see if we could make it happen. We are now in business!

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