Pre-Hispanic Serving Platter
These unique, hand-molded, black clay serving platters are handmade by artisans from San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, a community where more than 600 families are dedicated to this artisan process.
The color of the black clay is due to the specific properties of the clay of this region and to the cooking process. The clay is removed from the surrounding hills and immersed in water to remove impurities, a process that can take up to a month.
The clay is molded by hand on flat surfaces near the ground and once molded, the pieces are dried for about 3 weeks. Once dried, the pieces are burnished and then cooked in ovens that reach a temperature of 700/800 degrees.
In cooking, all oven openings are closed to create an oxygen-depleted atmosphere, which causes the iron oxide particles in the clay to change and when the pieces emerge, have a glossy black finish.
These pieces do not contain lead.
*All items sold by Vía Raíz are handmade. Therefore they may have small "imperfections" or slight variations of color and design between each product—we think that is part of the beauty of having something made with care by individual artisans. Our website photos are a close representation of this piece, but may not be identical to the one you receive.