Mexican Black Clay Oaxacan Pottery

the process:

Traditionally, the clay is molded by hand or on a potter’s wheel. After it is shaped, the pieces are set to dry for up to three weeks. If the piece is to be polished so that it turns out shiny black when finished, it is polished when the piece is almost dry. The surface of the piece is lightly moistened and then rubbed with a curved quartz stone. This compacts the surface of the clay and creates a metallic sheen and dark color during firing.

The pieces are then fired in this above-ground kiln, using wood fires that heat the objects to extremely high temperatures.