THE GUEST GALLERY
Magdalena Pedro Martinez
Magdalena Pedro Martinez is not only one of the greatest talents amongst the artists who work in the traditional Black Pottery of Oaxaca, but also the most beautiful of spirits. Her mission is to preserve the ancient traditions of her native Oaxaca by concentrating her artwork primarily on beautiful sculptural images of traditional dress styles (or trajes) from the eight magical regions of Oaxaca.
Both Magdalena and her husband, Raul, are medical doctors, but Magdalena remains firmly committed to her art form. As a Master Artist, she has traveled extensively to demonstrate her art at the most prestigious locations, both at home in Mexico and here in the United States. Her work is highly sought after by collectors around the world and it is our great honor to be able to share her artwork with you.
Hailing from the village of San Bartolo Coyotepec, which is famous for highly polished and hand-formed pottery, Magdalena has been surrounded by the ceramic art since her birth. As a very young child, she was given clay to play with by her parents, highly respected artists Anotonio Eleazar Pedro Carreno and Glafira Martinez Barranco.
Although many publications credit her as truly beginning to focus on her artwork at the young age of nineteen, Magdalena cannot remember a time when she was not working with clay. Later as a teenager, she would sell her artwork to help finance her educational goal of becoming a medical doctor. Although successfully achieving that goal, her yearnings to preserve the traditions of her native Oaxaca never dissipated. Magdalena would rely on the stories of her grandparents and the beauty of the traditional dress found throughout the diverse regions of Oaxaca to serve as the inspiration behind her work. There is such minute detail in her work, with a sculptural approach, that sets Magdalena apart from the more commercial black pottery that is commonly seen from Oaxaca.
Magdalena begins by forming the head of the piece with careful precision and ultimate attention to detail and then proceeds to the torso. The limbs are then crafted with the final touch being the incredible accents of the dresses, the beautifully minutely crafted jewelry, and other adornments like pineapples, that are commonly used in the traditional dances of Oaxaca. Beautiful floral patterns are commonly used to decorate the dress of the sculpted figure which accurately and respectfully represents the fine hand-embroidery used throughout Mexico on the traditional dresses. Magdalena uses tools that she has modified or hand-crafted for her specific needs in order to achieve a fine level of minute detail in each piece. She hand-burnishes each piece with a quartz stone or other tiny pointed tools for the smallest areas and creatively leaves other areas with a rich matte black finish. Magdalena has recently taken on the task of preserving many traditional dress techniques found throughout the country of Mexico, seeking to broaden the successful approach to the rest of her beautiful country that is so rich in tradition.