Micaceous Pottery by Erica Espinoza
Micaceous Pottery is fully functional pottery made with clay that naturally has mica in it. Erica and her family hand dig the clay, then it is soaked and screened drained and kneaded to prepare it for use. Once clay is ready all pots re hand fashioned using the coil method. Once dry they are wet scraped, sanded, slipped several times with some clay body, oiled and polished with stones. All pots are pre-fired in a kiln for full durability and then open fire for the natural and traditional smoke markings. Sometimes horse hair and feathers are also used.
To use your micaceous pot to cook in, season the pot by lining the inside of the pot with oil, then fill with water to about an inch from the top and boil for a half an hour, pour out water and let air dry. Your pot is then ready to be used on top of your range or in the oven. Do not put pot on heat while the outside of the vessel is wet. Use only wooden or plastic utensils and wash with warm water and sponge or soft dish towel. Always air dry. Enjoy!
Bio for Micaceous Potter, Erica Espinoza and Family
Micaceous pottery has been a tradition of New Mexico for as much as a thousand years. Micaceous pots are often passed down from generation to generation for many years of cooking enjoyment.
Erica Espinoza is born and raised in northern New Mexico. Being raised in a Spanish home and growing up with the Native America friends, she has been greatly influenced by the native cultures. She has always had a great love and respect for the earth and the old ways of living naturally. She acquired a love for clay since she was a child and developed a strong passion for pottery in high school. Soon after graduating from Espanola High, she fell in love with micaceous clay! Micaceous clay is hand dug clay body that naturally has mica in it. Clay is dug near a mountain village where Erica grew up as a child. All pots are hand built, rock polished, pre-fired in a kiln and open wood fired. Micaceous pots are fully functional and can be used on the stove top, the oven and even outside on a camp fire. Erica and her family stay true to the traditional way of making this pottery. In New Mexico they are called bean or stew pots and many generations still use them to cook in today. Erica has been a potter for more than 30 years and has been teaching micaceous pottery for more than 15 years. Her work is also in the museum of New Mexico’s permanent collection.
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