So….who wants to buy a little pot?

No, no, no, not that kind of pot.  But, yes, yes, yes, we can possess a little of that kind legally down here [up to five grams]!   

HOWEVER, this post is about ceramic pots. 

A few days ago, I took a trip [snicker] with some friends up to Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos, Jalisco, to a pottery makers‘ place.  Ixtlahuacan [pronounced kinda like this:  ish tla WAA con] is about a 15 minute drive north of Chapala.  It’s about halfway between Chapala and the Guadalajara airport. 

They make all sizes and sorts of pottery containers there.  From large chimineas [outdoor fireplaces] and pots to smaller versions of both and little figurines to put into your garden.  And they have “finished” items [i.e. holes drilled in the bottom for drainage and items painted in varying colors], as well as unfinished items and what might be called “seconds” [i.e. a chip or a small crack]. 

Prices vary depending on the state of the items you wish, but they are always less expensive than what you would be charged in a shop in Ajijic or Tlaquepaque, both of which are artisan/artist enclaves in our area.  You can also pick out an item that you like and have the craftsmen finish it to your specifications. 

So, let’s take a look around the place.  Here’s a look at some of the guys working on some of the larger pots:


The fellow on the far left is cleaning up the pots so that the tops are smooth and ready to be painted, if desired.  The pile of cardboard toward the front of the picture is used to place between pottery items when they are being transported.  The two guys in the middle of the picture are getting something to drink.  It has been VERY hot down here and they’re just keeping hydrated!

Here are a couple of pictures of some of the “finished” items.  These, as I mentioned, will cost you a bit more.  See the colorful blue items in the middle rear?  Those are a couple of chimineas, as is the large fish on the left side of the picture.

Here’s a stack of molds from which castings can be done.  If you don’t see what you like already out for sale, you can choose a mold and have something made for yourself.

It’s called the area de moldeado:

There are a couple of other sections where one can pick up bargains.  In one area there are “semi finished” pieces.  These items are less expensive than those totally finished, but a bit more than those “seconds” that I mentioned.  Here are some of the semi finished items:

And if you go even farther back, you’ll run into piles and piles of “seconds” from which to choose.
So, did we buy anything?  Well, of course!  My friend Sher wanted something to liven up her garden area a little, and wanted something other than the rather ubiquitous frogs and donkeys, so she chose one of these fine ladies, along with a couple of other things.
I already have a great chiminea on my patio:
So I chose a toddler size chiminea to use as an ashtray, because, yes, I’m still smokin’ [ahem].   Tres chic, no?
Total cost for chiminea and stand?  A whopping $4.32US!  And that’s handmade by the guys in Ixtlahuacan, Jalisco, Mexico!  When’s the last time you bought something and visited the place where it was made and met the folks who made it? 
It was a great day and I’ll be going back again soon…..because I just can’t get this fellow out of my mind!
I think we could be very happy together. 

About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
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8 Responses to So….who wants to buy a little pot?

  1. me says:

    I do think you need to get “him”…maybe he could hang out with “her”. Haven’t
    decided on a name, but she has different scarfs every day until I find her “true” look.

    • Barbara says:

      well, if i get “him” and you want to have them visit, you’ll have to bring “her” over here. because we all know that buddha does not go to the mountain…..oh, wait, i guess that’s muhammad. never mind.

  2. Kathi says:

    I’m going there tomorow. It’s always a fun trip. Lunch at Cinco Potrillios is the most fun!

    • Barbara says:

      yep, we too had lunch at los cinco potrillos. and, as always, it was great!! love their salsa, their combination plates, and their limonada!! why do we not drive over the mountain more often for their food??????????????

  3. Gigi says:

    You made me laugh AGAIN!
    And what a great look behind the scene at where those pots come from!

  4. katherine says:

    I live in Chapala, just around the mountain from Ixtlahuacan. I’d like to know how to find this fabulous place, so please post directions from the village entrance off of the Chapala/Guadalajara highway. Gracias.

    • Barbara says:

      katherine, Going toward Guad from Chapala, take the right hand exit at Ixtlahuacan [since you can’t turn left off the highway] and go left under the highway overpass and left again to get to the main entrance of Ixtla. Take that main street into the village to the first street BEFORE the church. Left on that street. Stay on that road until it splits and veer to the right. The pot factory is ahead on your right. Once you make the turn before the church, it’s really not that far. Ixtla is pretty small. Here’s the owner’s contact information, should you need/want it;

      Victor H. Arrayga

      And may i recommend Cinco Potrillos restaurant in Ixtla if you’ve not eaten there. Really good Mexican food at really good prices.

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