David Guzman is a potter from the small town of Capula, which is famous for their Catrina Dolls.

Tea Light Holder by David Guzman

  • Capula is a Nahuatl word that means "place of capulines," and is most famed for the Catrina Dolls associated with the mysterious Dia de los Muertos.  The pottery of Capula is crafted using a fusion of P'urhepecha and Spanish techniques.  

    When Quiroga arrived in Capula in 1550, he recognized the natural clay resources of the town, and worked on helping the locals improve their techniques for more durable pieces.  Over the years, techniques have continued to improve with new technology, though traditional methods are still used due to the lower cost.  This method involves cooking the clay pieces in a wood burning oven.


    The more modern techniques involve cooking the clay pieces twice in a temperature controlled gas oven.  The pieces are heated to 1200 degrees Celsius, then removed and placed in a mineral material called "greta."  Placed back in the oven, the pieces are heated again, only this time to 1800 degrees Celsius.  The double-firing and higher heat temperatures make these pieces stronger and more durable.  Consumers will know the difference, based on the price and quality.  

    Capula style is quite easy to identify once you have come in contact with pottery from this endearing village.  The patterns are comprised of several dots, with one large dot that is circled with smaller dots to make a flower.  These patterns are repeated around the rims of dishes and plates, or the full surfaces of mugs and vases.  The economy of Capula is based on pottery - so most of the inhabitants are involved in this business on some level, whether crafting or selling.