San Marcos Tlapazola, Mexico

Women of the Red Clay

Artisans In Group


Styles Made


In the small Zapotec village of San Marcos Tlapazola in Oaxaca, Mexico, women have been making pottery out of red clay gathered from the surrounding mountains for generations. Using their hands and tools such as smooth leather, corn cobs, and deconstructed basketballs as a pottery wheel, the women make traditional kitchen cookcare –comales and cazuelas. The pieces we source from this group are both designed and handmade by them. 

Led by the acclaimed potter,Macrina Mateo. In the 1980s, as industrialization crept in and slow-crafted, handmade pottery began to be replaced by cheaper materials, young artisans began to expand outside of the traditions of previous generations. The then 18-year-old Macrina Mateo began to travel outside the village to learn how to adapt their goods and practices to reach new markets interested in the history and distinct aesthetic of red clay. Today the village is thriving and ”Women of the Red Clay” are known worldwide for their unique offerings.

Products made by Women of the Red Clay in San Marcos Tlapazola