Bernardina and Elena Felipe – COSAS Mexican Art
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Bernardina and Elena Felipe

Bernardina and Elena today, still speak their native Tarasco tongue.  The artistic vocation of the villages of the region are due to Don Vasco de Quiroga who took the skill of people into account and assigned each village a trade to dedicate themselves to.  He introduced pottery, and had the people of Huancito make jugs to carry water in since it was scarce in the area.  Towers were created to hold larger amounts of water in small spaces in their homes. The clay used to make these gorgeous pots is extracted from the earth using picks and shovels and sifted to a fine powder.  “Pancakes” are made and put into mold.  The clay is smoothed and dried, then coated with “Charanda”, a brown soil pigment.  Pots are burnished with a pyrite stone and then a cloth.  After burnishing, the pots are decorated using fine brushes made out of squirrel hair.  Paints are made of clay and water – black color is formed by adding ground ants.  Finally, the pots are fired.

The work of Bernardina and Elena are 3 time top prize winners in the state of Michoacan and the Premio Fomento Cultural Bananmex.