This is an extraordinarily talented, productive and distinctive clan of artists who create purely decorative pieces in the black pottery for which their pueblo is renowned. What distinguishes this family is the remarkable diversity of their individual styles. Each of the parents, Antonio and Glafira, and their five adult children (three sons and two daughters) and now a grandson, has developed his or her own type of work. One, Carlomagno, has achieved international fame for his outstanding interpretive pieces. Several other members have received significant acclaim, and their reputations are steadily growing.
Antonio Eleazar Pedro Carreño
A proud and dignified man, Antonio Eleazar Pedro Carreño is a man who does not rest self-satisfied. Striving to improve his work and create new designs has been his lifelong credo. Much of his current work treats religious subjects such as the virgins most significant in Oaxacan culture.
Glafira Martínez Barranco (wife of Antonio)
Glafira is a gentle and warm motherly woman who produces soulful, small pieces including angels (both freestanding and for wall display), mermaids, and animals such as armadillos, pigs, and elephants.
Carlomagno Pedro Martínez (son of Antonio and Glafira)
A modest and somewhat reticent man, Carlomagno Pedro Martínez is a powerful and innovative artistic force. He creates unique sculptural forms and wall sculptures (or reliefs), based on his interpretation of legends, stories and cultural beliefs. He has gained extraordinary international recognition for his distinctive assemblages of figures and objects treating a range of subjects. These include beliefs associated with the Day of the Dead (such as skeletons and devils with carts), Mexican history (soldiers and other historical figures) and morality (for example, the devil responding to temptation as he observes a couple making love). Carlomagno’s figures range from “nahuales” (mythical figures pictured as humans with animal faces) to witches, devils and “muertos” (skeletons in human activity). Some are small, while others are collage-like (ceramic forms mounted on large canvases), and still others are major sculptural works of grand proportions.
Magdalena Pedro Martínez (daughter of Antonio and Glafira)
Magdalena is a sensitive young woman who is both an outstanding ceramist and a medical doctor. She currently devotes more time to ceramics than to medicine, but has a small office in the pueblo. Both she and her husband, also a physician, are available for house calls. Magdalena specializes in female figures dressed in the traditional costumes of the seven regions of the state of Oaxaca, viewing this as her particular contribution to the broader cause of preserving the culture of her beloved ancestors. At present Magdalena has recorded 24 costumes in her ceramic masterpieces. She generally creates these figures in both sculptural and statuesque sizes, capturing the rich detail of costumes in a combination of shiny black and matte surfaces.
Adelina Pedro Martínez (daughter of Antonio and Glafira)
Adelina specializes in enchanting black pottery angels and mermaids. Their distinctive faces are both cheerful and otherworldly. One favorite pieces is her large angel playing a mandolin whose flowing, matte and shiny skirt is punctuated by inserted baby angels and carved flowers. Adelina lives and works in the lovely home she shares with her husband and three daughters, who have begun to work as ceramicists as well, conserving the original style but also introducing something of their own.
Antonio Eurípides Pedro González (grandson of Antonio and Glafira and son of Amando)
Antonio Eurípides is deeply devoted to the preservation of his cultural and religious tradition. His pieces reflect his cherished religious beliefs, daily and historical customs such as cooking, and the costumes of the seven regions of Oaxaca. Antonio loves to create assemblages of figures, such as processions in honor of the Virgin in which people carry religious objects and a traditional cooking scene including utensils of old, and women making “tortillas” and casseroles. He also makes female figures in their regional costumes, in some instances performing regional dances, on a far smaller scale than those of his aunt Magdalena.
Alan Ocelotl Pedro González (grandson of Antonio and Glafira, son of Amando and brother of Antonio Eurípides)
Alan Ocelotl was awarded honorable mention in FOFA’s 2008 young artists’ competition. A member of this distinguished ceramics family, he began to work in clay at 5 years of age. His piece, El Angel (the Angel), expresses his devoted to his faith and derives from a dream in which he visualized this celestial being seated on a rock surrounded by an aura. He is determined to dedicate his life to art, believing that to mold clay is to enter another world.
Abel Pedro Martínez (son of Antonio and Glafira)
Abel creates ceramic figures, many of which relate to the Day of the Dead: skulls, skeletons, and female figures with skeletal faces. He also prides himself on his trees of life. It is Abel’s cherished wish that his children, and the new generation in general, will not abandon the ceramic tradition of their family and pueblo.
Amando Pedro Martínez (son of Antonio and Glafira)
Amando Pedro Martínez creates female figures, eclipses and lamps that have segments encompassing multiple purposes (such as jugs and vases), creating a steady flow of new designs, a talent that he shares with his family.