Javier Servin, artisan from Mexico
Ceramic home decor accessories
"I am constantly searching for ways to improve techniques and qualities, as well as developing new designs and styles.""I'm from the state of Guanajuato, but I began my apprenticeship in a ceramic workshop in Mexico City. I began as an assistant decorator and after two years I was heading that department. By then I decided to start my own workshop at my parents' house. It was just my wife and I.
"You could say I'm somewhat restless, always looking to start new ventures, and soon I was starting another workshop in Xochimilco. After eight years I decided to return to my village and set up another workshop there. That was in 1996, and now I've been fortunate to offer jobs to more than 30 master ceramists in my community.
"Our process begins by mixing clay, silica, kaolin and feldspar and letting it 'age' for several days. After shaping by hand the desired piece on the potter's wheel we trace the patterns with a burin so they serve as guide for the decorative motifs, which we paint with enamels before baking. The heat makes the enamel colors come through shiny and beautiful.
"I am constantly searching for ways to improve techniques and qualities, as well as developing new designs and styles. Our collections range from home décor to exhibition pieces now on show in different galleries in Mexico, as well as United States and Austria, amongst others.
"I have different projects going on that are related to my ceramic art and to providing new job opportunities to people from my village. These include an exhibition hall and workshop where people visiting my village can take part in crafting a ceramic piece, as well as admire the marvel we create."