This red clay oval platter goes beyond the definition of pottery to achieve the status of a work of art. Marcos Martínez Reyes, who is both the potter and the artist, creates his works in the town of Capula, in the state of Michoacán in Mexico. This piece is elegantly formed, but it is the painting, which often takes a week or more, that makes this a masterpiece. Fish are the theme, with a large sinuous fish in the center surrounded by an inner row and an outer row of smaller fish that total 51 in all. Other than the red and black striping and the small red flowers, all the decorations are done in pointillism---a very exacting technique in which Señor Martinez Reyes applies paint in tiny dots to form the images.
The dominant colors he used are not the usual bright ones on Mexican pottery, but pale grey, pale peach and pale yellow, for a sophisticated yet folk art look. The platter measures 17 1/4 inches long, 13 inches top to bottom and 2 inches in height. It weighs 4 pounds 10 ounces and is in just-created condition, with no cracks, chips or hairlines. Following is a translation of the writing on the back:
Lead-Free Craft Capula, Michoacán, Mexico Señor Reyes' Street Address Born (?) in the barrio of San Miguel in Capula Artist: Marco Martinez R(eyes) 20 Years of Artistic Career
We've included a photograph of the artist and of a scene in Capula. Señor Martinez Reyes' work is featured online at The Instituto del Artesano Michoacán (The Official Craft Store of Michoacán). His new items start at $390.00. Here is the link to his featured items: