Huáncito black and grey hand-painted ceramic water pitchers
Vía Raíz

Huáncito Ónix Cantaro


Elena Felipe Felix is a Purepecha artisan who lives in Huáncito, Michoacán and the creator of these one-of-a-kind water pitchers. Like many other towns in the region, Huáncito was assigned a trade by Don Vasco de Quiroga, who took into account the skills and traditions of the various communities.

The residents of Huáncito were assigned the manufacture of pots, which is ideal for carrying and storing water in this semi-arid region. The result over the years, has been the development of pots beautifully decorated with fine details of flowers, hummingbirds and butterflies, using clay pigments derived from nature and applied with natural bristle brushes.

Elena molds her prepared clay pots carefully and coats them with a brown earth pigment that produces great shine when polished. The clay is obtained from the deposits of communal lands. This clay dries in two or three days and later it is cleaned removing impurities and debris. It is then dried and ground in a mortar to create a fine powder. The clay is then moistened and sealed in plastic. It is left to rest for a day, then kneaded on a makeshift table to begin to shape the pots, pitchers or vases.

Elena inherited her skill at an early age and her mastery is evident in each of the pieces she creates. Her work is considered the highest level of excellence in Mexican folk art and has been named Great Master of Mexican Folk Art.

Measurements: Large 8"x12" / 4"x4" cup, Medium 6.5"x9" / 3.5"x3.5" cup, Small 5"x7" / 2.5"x2.5" cup


*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.