Filming the Pedro Martinez family

While in Oaxaca, the Craft in America crew also visited ceramic artist Carlomagno Pedro Martinez in San Bartolo Coyotepec. Carlomagno is known for his barro negro (black clay ceramic) sculptures based on his interpretations of legends, stories, and cultural beliefs associated with Day of the Dead, Mexican history, and morality. He started working in clay at the age of four, taught by his parents. He hand builds his figures and often burnishes them using quartz. All of Carlomagno’s siblings work in ceramics but each has their own individual style.

Magdalena Pedro Martinez is Carlomagno’s sister and also works in clay. She worked in clay as a child but did not seriously dedicate herself to her art until she was 19 years old because she was studying to become a doctor. Today, Magdalena devotes more time to ceramics than to medicine but has a small medical office in San Bartolo Coyotepec. Magdalena creates female figures dressed in the traditional costumes of the seven regions of the state of Oaxaca as well as the “catrinas,” the female figures for the Day of the Dead. The detailed patterns and textures in her work is quite amazing.

Magdalena’s daughter, Naomi, has also started following in her mother’s footsteps. Here’s one of Naomi’s recent female figures.

Carlomagno’s sister, Adelina Pedro Martinez, also works in barro negro in San Bartolo Coyotepec and specializes in angels and mermaids. Here are a few examples of her work. What a talented family!