mata ortiz pottery


Related Links

Mata Ortiz Home

Mata Ortiz News

Mata Ortz Books


Tours to Mata Ortiz

For personalized tours to Mata Ortiz, you may contact our partners at Gavilan Tours

The Amerind Foundation is conducting a fund-raising tour to the Copper Canyon and Casas Grandes October 10-16 arranged through Geronimo Educational Foundation. [Note: Although Mata Ortiz is not on the itinerary, Casas Grandes is home to several master potters from Mata Ortiz such as Nicolas Quezada and Eli Navarrette.] Flying to Los Mochis, the group will spend five days in the Canyon and then van back to the Amerind, spending a day in Casas Grandes visiting the Museum of Northern Cultures and the prehistoric ruins of Paquimé. Partially excavated by the Amerind Foundation in collaboration with the Mexican government, Paquimé is the largest archaeological ruin in northern Mexico and once the largest and most complex community in the Puebloan world. A special dinner and overnight are planned at the Amerind at the end of the tour. Contact John Ware (520-586-3666), executive director, the Amerind Foundation, Dragoon, AZ 85609.

As part of its Sonoran Desert Studies Program, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, in Tucson, conducts two annual tours, "The Mata Ortiz Experience" (Class code MOE2) in April and "Mata Ortiz Celebration." (MOC2) in September, led by Ron and Sue Bridgemon. Both tours feature the prehistoric ruins of Paquimé, the pottery village of Mata Ortiz, and exploration of archaeological sites in the nearby Sierra Madre mountains, but "Celebration" includes Mexico's independence day, September 16, in the village (school children's parade, rodeo, dance). The "Celebration" this year will be September 13-17. Groups limited to 18. $545 members only. Register on-line or call 520-883-3086. Ron and Sue enjoy doing this and lead several other tours throughout the year.

Scholars Paul and Suzy Fish of the Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona, Tucson, each year lead a "Mata Ortiz Learning Expedition." It begins Thursday with a brief tour of the Museum's prehistoric Casas Grandes collection, lunch at the border, and that night at the Hacienda Hotel in Nuevo Casas Grandes; Friday in Mata Ortiz for shopping, lunch in the village, and witnessing a pottery-making demonstration; Saturday visiting rock art sites and archaeological ruins of the area, dinner at gourmet Belgian restaurant, Malmedy, in NCG; Sunday visiting galleries and the Museo de las Culturas del Norte, the ruins of Paquimé, and returning to Tucson. Cost: Museum members $700, non-members $800, includes transportation, lodging and all meals. The next tour is scheduled for July 15-18, 2004. Contact Darlene F. Lizarraga (520-626-8381, 621-2976 fax, 489-9138 pager), marketing coordinator, Office of Museum Advancement, Arizona State Museum, PO Box 210026, Tucson AZ 85721-0026

Piet Van de Mark and Mary Erickson (14 years with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum) have conducted natural and cultural history educational tours of select areas of Mexico and the American Southwest since 1966. They’re always happy to do custom trips for groups, especially non-profits, and can easily handle groups up to 40 or so. A popular scheduled tour to Mata Ortiz is their 3-day/2-night introductory by luxury motor coach from Tucson to Nuevo Casas Grandes, two nights at the comfortable Hacienda Hotel in Nuevo Casas Grandes, most of the day, including a traditional mid-day meal, in Mata Ortiz meeting artists in their homes, seeing pottery making demonstrations and finding buying opportunities, and an afternoon at Casas Grandes visiting Paquimé, the largest archaeological ruin in northern Mexico and once the largest and most complex community in the Puebloan world, and the superb new Museum of Northern Cultures. Cost is $449 featuring luxury motor coach roundtrip from Tucson, double occupancy (single is $70 additional). $100 deposit. Next scheduled tour is November 13-15. Baja's Frontier has also arranged a tour to Mata Ortiz for the Heard Museum (which see below), November 5-10. Contact Piet Van de Mark (520-887-2340, 800-726-7231), Baja's Frontier Tours, 907 E. Freeman Place, Tucson AZ 85719

Robin and Pamela Hogan offer tours from the Sea of Cortez by train through Copper Canyon and returning through Mata Ortiz. The next will be September 19-27. Itinerary includes Hermosillo, San Carlos (pearl cultivation, Beach Club cookout, snorkeling), Guaymas, Creel (Tarahumara Indians), Cuauhtemoc, Casas Grandes (prehistoric ruins of Paquimé), Mata Ortiz (pottery, lunch in the home of one of Mexico's premier artists, Juan Quezada). $1500/person. Contact Robin Hogan (505-534-1600 / 1259, Fax 1256), Cienega Spa, 101 N. Cooper St, Silver City, NM 88061

Cultural Arts conducts tours to the village and its environs seeking out pottery, visiting various artists, and seeing some of the major points of interest in the area. We also arrange classes with such leading artists as Juan Quezada, Jorge Quintana, and Hector and Graciela Gallegos. Classes include the techniques of finding and digging clay in the mountain and preparing it for use as well as all aspects of forming, ornamenting and firing clay. Next tours and classes will be announced in the May, 2004 Mata Ortiz Calendar. Contact Vanessa Acosta (323-344-9064), Cultural Arts Tours & Workshops, PO Box 41-1031, Los Angeles CA 90041.

Darlene Conoly arranges tours worldwide, but a favorite is Mata Ortiz. She regularly hosts museum groups such as the Beaumont Art Museum, the San Antonio Museum of Latin American Art, the Southwest Arts & Crafts Center in San Antonio, and the Corpus Christi Art Museum. "Dar" favors what she calls "soft adventure," enjoying the unusual in the vicinity of Mata Ortiz including prehistoric rock art and bathing in the hot springs below the Hacienda San Diego. Knowing what it takes for folks to enjoy themselves comes naturally to Dar, whose family owns the oldest dude ranch in the State of Texas. University of New Mexico anthropologist Bob Estes, who has done field work in the village, usually accompanies the tours to Mata Ortiz. Groups range from 10-16 people. $750 for five days includes airfare from San Antonio. Ask for their quarterly newsletter. Contact Darlene Conoly (361-358-2364; 800-621-6008), Box 489, 1209 N. Washington St., Beeville TX 78104

Diane Hamlyn conducts several tours each year to Mata Ortiz. Groups average 15 to 20 people. They spend the first evening at the Hacienda Hotel in Nuevo Casas Grandes and hear an entertaining talk on the archaeology and history of the area. The following two days are spent in and around the village, visiting with potters, going to see rock art in the mountain above the village, visiting the Mormon community and learning some of their history in the area. Saturday night, on returning to the Hacienda Hotel, a number of leading potters living in Nuevo Casas Grandes join the group for dinner and show their pottery. Jack Berry will lead the next scheduled tour February 13-16. (Cost yet to be announced.) Contact Diane Hamlyn or Rita Jasso (800-255-4567, 916-448-1951, Fax 530-758-4510), Davisville Travel, 420 Second St, Davis CA 95616

Cathy and Marshall Giesy are well known for their "learning experience" tours to Central and South America. Besides their many regular tours they design custom tours with a special focus such as photography/sketching or archaeology/ rock art, accompanied by an artist, archaeologist or other appropriate person. Groups are small, from 10 to a maximum of 20. They plan a walking tour (horseback optional) from Cave of the Olla to Cuarenta Casas through the mountains with archaeologist Sharon Urban, recently of the Arizona State Museum, surveying many hidden cliff dwellings, including visit to Mata Ortiz September 26-October 5 ($2000/person double occupancy, $250 single supplement, includes all transportation, lodging and meals, gourmet meals on the trail, guides, burros, gear transport, archaeologist interpreter, tour escorts). Four weekend tours to Mata Ortiz are planned for October 10-12 (with pottery expert Jan Bell), November 22-24, February 27-29, and March 26-28 ($425 double occupancy, $75 single supplement). Cathy and Marshall also arrange classes in the village on all aspects of pottery making, from finding, digging and preparing the clay to forming the pot, preparing and decorating the surface, and firing the finished piece in the open air. Classes $1300 per person, double occupancy, includes travel to and from Tucson and all expenses. Next scheduled classes will be October 11-18 ($1300/person double occupancy, $300 single supplement) with Socorro Sandoval and University of Arizona ceramist Jan Bell; and a mini-class ($635 double occupancy) with Gloria Hernandez October 15-18. Contact Cathy Giesy (voice/fax 520-398-9705; 800-876-2802; message 520-547-8052), Fiesta Tours International, 4809 de la Canoa, Amado AZ 85645. Please ask for our brochure.

John Hatch, of the prominent Mormon family by that name in Col. Juarez, provides a unique service. He does small tours that people can plan and schedule for themselves. He provides transportation from Colonia Juarez or from any of three ports of entry in the United States (El Paso TX, Douglas AZ, or Deming NM). He guides anywhere in the states of Chihuahua, Sonora, or over the Chihuahua-Pacific train ride into Sinaloa. He has traveled extensively in northern Mexico and especially the Sierra Madres, beginning when he was a boy and accompanied his doctor father who often traveled to remote locations and worked under extreme conditions. Wholly bilingual and bicultural, he graduated from Brigham Young University, taught school for 25 years in Col. Juarez (ecology, history, English, physics), has researched the history of the Mormon colonies in Mexico, and has guided or otherwise been involved in numerous wildlife and historical expeditions into the Sierra Madre region. Contact John or Sandra Hatch (011-52-636-695-0111), Col. Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.

The Galería Mata Ortiz in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, sponsors ceramic workshops conducted by master potters César and Gaby Domínguez in the beautiful setting of Haciendo Mosaico. Participants learn the unique Mata Ortiz methods of hand building a pot, preparing the surface by sanding and burnishing, then painting and, lastly, outdoor firing to produce both black and polychrome ware. Enrollment limited to 16. All levels of experience. $500 tuition includes all materials. Lodging at Hacienda Mosaico $42/day/person in double occupancy. Contact Claudia Lovera (011-52-322-222-7407), Galería Mata Ortiz, Lázaro Cárdenas 268-A, Col. Emiliano Zapata 48380, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.

Geronimo has conducted tours to Mata Ortiz since 1993, including up to ten Elderhostel programs a year for persons 55 years or older. Groups typically leave from and return to the historic Gadsden Hotel in Douglas AZ and range from 10 to 33 persons plus tour escorts and instructors. The group hear lectures, tour the ruins of Paquimé and the new Museum of Northern Cultures, attend a pottery demonstration by Manuel Olivas in Casas Grandes, visit the Mormon academy and a Mormon home in Colonia Juárez where they will hear stories of the Mormons during the Mexican revolution, tour the potters of Mata Ortiz with Debbie Flanagan, and lastly visit the Mennonite cheese factory and settlement of Los Alamos. Programs are three or six days.
Geronimo frequently arranges tours for special interests and groups such as the San Juan Basin and Cochise County Archaeological Societies, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, the Sacred Sites International Foundation (which see below), and the Amerind Foundation (which see above). They also conduct each fall a two-day fund-raiser tour sponsored by the Bisbee Council on the Arts & Humanities to benefit the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum. This fall's benefit tour will be December 6-7, leaving from Bisbee 6:45 a.m. Saturday and returning by 6 p.m. Sunday Limited to 30 persons, the cost is $170 all-inclusive for members, $185 non-members. Contact Becky Orozco or Carol Moore (520-432-5534, 888-472-6643), Geronimo Educational Foundation, PO Drawer B, Bisbee AZ 85603.

Starting in January 2004, Grand Circle Travel will inaugurate three tours per week that will include a day in Mata Ortiz. Their tour season will run January 12- July 6 and September 13 to January 11, 2005. Itinerary will include a night in Tucson, three nights in San Carlos/Guaymas (beach resort, boat ride, visit pearl industry, free time), two nights in El Fuerte, Sinaloa (visit to a Mayo Indian village and have lunch in an Indian home), two nights in Copper Canyon (tour the rim, visit a Tarahumara medicine man), two nights in Chihuahua City (city tour, home-hosted dinner), two nights in Casas Grandes (Hacienda Hotel, Paquime ruins, Mata Ortiz for pottery demonstration at home of Juan Quezada, home-hosted lunch), and a night in El Paso (farewell dinner). Limit 40 people. $995 double occupancy, single supplement $375. Contact Grand Circle Travel (800-221-2610).

The Heard Museum in Phoenix is conducting a tour to Mata Ortiz November 5-10 arranged through Baja's Frontier Tours and accompanied by Mark Bahti, owner of Bahti Indian Arts, Tucson. The tour is open to Museum members only, but this is an excellent time to become a member ($50/year for individual or family). Convening in Tucson Wednesday evening, November 5; Thursday travel by motor coach to Nuevo Casas Grandes; Friday in Mata Ortiz for shopping, visit in the home of one of Mexico's premier artists, Juan Quezada, witness pottery making demonstration, lunch, and back to NCG; Saturday visit the ruins of Paquimé, the largest archaeological ruin in northern Mexico and once the largest and most complex community in the Puebloan world, the Museum of Northern Cultures, and a visit with the Mormons in Col. Juarez, the Mormon capital of Chihuahua; Sunday return to Tucson, stopping to shop at the "Pink Store" in Palomas on the border and arriving Tucson 5-7 p.m. Group disperses after breakfast Monday. Tour cost for members $1295/person double occupancy (add $245 for single). Hotel accommodations at either end of the tour included. Contact Wendy Johnson (602-251-0261), Associate Director of Membership, Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004-1323.

Lisa Silva conducts half-a-dozen tours to Mata Ortiz each year from the Albuquerque area. Five days and four nights include a tour of the Luna Mimbres Museum in Deming; visit to Rock Hound State Park; the archaeological ruins of Paquime and the new, world-class Museum of Northern Cultures in Casas Grandes, Chihuahua; Mata Ortiz for pottery art, pottery-making demonstrations, rodeos on national holidays (all listed tours feature rodeos except September 1—Labor Day), a short hike to the prehistoric petroglyphs at Arroyo de los Monos; and returning to explore City of Rocks State Park and historic Hillsboro near Silver City. $395/person double occupancy, $150 single supplement, includes all lodging, transportation and meals. Context-based Spanish lessons available prior to the trip. Next scheduled tours will be September 1-5 (Labor Day); September 13-18 (Dia de la Independencia, rodeo—cost for this, the only 6-day tour, is $475, double occupancy, $200 single supplement); October 22-26; and November 19-23 (Dia de la Revolucion, rodeo; Contact Lisa Silva (505-899-3483), 5965 Avenida de Barranca NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114.

Each year the Mimbres Region Arts Council (MRAC) and the Western New Mexico University (WNMU) Museum in Silver City NM, conduct a moderate-cost tour to Paquimé and Mata Ortiz. This year's dates are October 23-26. Archaeologist Dr. Cynthia Bettison leads the tour and explains local history at sites along the way such as the Plaza de Armas at Ascención, the old ruined Janos church, the Mormon colonies of Col. Dublán and Col. Juarez, the pueblo of Casas Grandes and the Paquimé ruins, the Hacienda San Diego and Mata Ortiz. Limit: 30 people. Contact the Mimbres Region Arts Council (505-538-2505 or 888-758-7289), Box 1830, Silver City, NM 88062

Nature Treks and Passages offers tours to Mata Ortiz, Copper Canyon, Kino Bay, Belize, and Alaska that feature birding, natural history, and cultural attractions. Tours to Mata Ortiz are offered July 15-17, September 23-25, October 7-9, November 18-20, and December 7-9. Groups leave from Tucson or Phoenix by van, stay at the cozy Adobe Inn in Mata Ortiz owned by master potter Jorge Quintana, watch pottery making demonstrations, and visit potters at their homes or galleries. They visit the ruins and museum at Paquime on the way back to Arizona. The trips in October and November combine pottery with birding and feature birding in the riparian area of the Upper San Pedro River Watershed near Naco, Sonora, home to over 180 species of birds. They also bird along the river's edge in Mata Ortiz and along the creek outside of the Mormon town of Colonia Juarez. Nature Treks and Passages aranges tours to Mata Ortiz as fundraisers for several non-profit organizations such as Tucson Audubon Society, Desert Botanical Garden, and Tucson-Pima Arts Council. Tour cost ranges from $549 to $599 single occupancy and $50 single supplement. Contact Rochelle Gerratt (520-696-2002), Nature Treks and Passages, PO Box 64805, Tucson, AZ 85728,,

For the eighth consecutive year, ceramics teacher David Bradley will conduct an annual week-long workshop in the village, mainly with people from Paradise Valley College in Phoenix but open to others. Next year's dates will be March 14-20. The group will depart by van from the college campus on Union Hills Drive and 32nd Street in Phoenix, arriving in Mata Ortiz that evening at the Posada de las Ollas. During five days in the village, Jesus and Carmen Veloz will teach all aspects from digging clay to forming, painting, and firing the finished piece. Each student will end up with a fired pot. Afternoons will be free for visiting potters in the village, evenings practicing using the Mata Ortiz style paint-brushes and getting acquainted with their design approach. There will be a day trip into the mountains to visit La Cueva de la Olla, a beautiful and awe inspiring archaeological site. On the final morning before returning to Phoenix, the group will visit the site of the Paquimé ruins and the Museum of Northern Cultures. $600 includes three college credits, transportation, meals in the village, and artist fees. Cost does not include $20 mexican tourist visa, meals en route, tips, or purchases. Limited to 16 people. No pottery experience necessary. Register after late October by calling Paradise Valley College at 602 493-2669 and signing up for Art295GC in the spring semester. Contact David Bradley (602-787-6615), 2233 N 56th Ave, Phoenix 85035.

In 1998 Jim and Jo Jarvis began offering one-week summer classes taught by Juan Quezada at their Rancho Sierra Madre 35 miles from Mata Ortiz at Colonia Pacheco near Cueva de la Olla. This working ranch has been in the Jarvis family since 1878. Juan teaches all aspects of the Mata Ortiz clay technique which he originated. See and experience the relaxation of life untouched by telephone, electricity or internet (emergency radio is available). No previous clay experience necessary. Groups leave from and return to Windmill NM, visiting on the way down the superb new Museum at Casas Grandes and the Mormon settlement of Colonia Juárez, stopping briefly at Mata Ortiz with a more leisurely visit there on the return. Extracurricular opportunities at the ranch include rock hounding (especially fire agate), exploring cliff dwellings, and bird watching. Prehistoric rock art, both petroglyphs and pictographs, within a ten-minute walk. $750 per person includes all expenses, tuition and travel from Windmill (near Animas, south of Lordsburg, NM). Eight full days of instruction and two days of travel. Next class: Dates next June, 2004 are yet to be announced. Contact Jim or Jo Jarvis (505-436-2589), HC 65 Box 634, Animas NM 88020.

Raúl guides groups for the University of New Mexico (which see below) to Mata Ortiz. Licensed by the Mexican government and well recommended, he's available to guide small groups or custom tours not only to Mata Ortiz but to Copper Canyon, Baja California, Yucatan and other areas rich in the culture of colonial and ancient Mexico. Contact him by phone (614-411-0203) or email

Not so formal as their business name suggests, Ron and Sue Bridgemon, who lead the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum spring and fall tours (see above), also conduct two or more tours of their own to Mata Ortiz each year as well as to the Copper Canyon. Those to Mata Ortiz are low cost, informal car-pooling tours usually limited to ten people and run from $100-125 per room per night. They begin at and return to Douglas, AZ and include two nights in the village. The next such tour may be held in October (yet to be announced). Ron and Sue also lead custom tours for private groups. They are thoroughly acquainted with the village, having a second home there near the Posada de las Ollas. Contact Ron or Sue Bridgemon (520-744-2243), 4545 W. Flying Diamond, Tucson AZ 85742

Sacred Sites International will conduct a week-long tour September 12-19, "Cultures of the Borderlands: Arizona and Northern Mexico," visiting many sites relating to Apache culture and history on this side of the border and ending with two days at Paquimé and Mata Ortiz. Based at Sunglow Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains, the group under the guidance of Rebec Orozco, Ph.D. will examine the lives of Cochise, Mangas and Geronimo, meet with White Mountain Apache tribal members, and range out to visit Fort Bowie, the Cochise strongholds, old Camp Rucker, and the Chiricahua National Monument. Tuesday, September 16th, the group will travel to the Hotel Hacienda in Nuevo Casas Grandes and visit the ruins and Museum at Paquimé, the largest archaeological ruin in northern Mexico and once the largest and most complex community in the Puebloan world. Wednesday will be devoted to Hacienda San Diego and Mata Ortiz to visit in potters' homes, witness pottery-making demonstrations, and lunch in the village. Saturday return to Tucson with lunch at the historic Gadsden Hotel in Douglas, AZ, visit to the mission of San Xavier del Bac, and dinner at the Hampton Inn. The tour is arranged through the Geronimo Educational Foundation (which see above). Maximum 18 in group. Price $1349/per person double occupancy (add $350 for single if available at Sunglow Lodge). Deposit $200/person was due by August 8. Contact Nancy Becker (510-525-1304), Sacred Sites International Foundation, 1442A Walnut Street #330, Berkeley, CA 94709.

The San Diego Museum of Man occasionally sponsors tours to Mata Ortiz. Contact Grace Johnson (619-239-2001) at the Museum, 1350 El Prado, San Diego CA 92101.

TORTUGA TOURS (Tours on Request)
Tito Carrillo, of Tucson, conducts frequent weekend tours of four to six people to Mata Ortiz on request, leaving Friday and returning Monday. (The name Tortuga, or "Turtle," refers to the fact that Tito has a reputation for driving slowly and safely.) The group stops at a Mennonite colony between Janos and Nuevo Casas Grandes on the way down, arrives in NCG Friday afternoon in time to visit the homes of several potters there before settling in for the night at La Fuente Hotel. Saturday morning the group visits the archaeological ruins of Paquimé, the new Museum of Northern Cultures, and the Galería Guacamaya, home and gallery of Mayté Luján, notable for having been designed and built in the ancient manner using rammed adobe, a technique experimentally reconstructed by Juan Quezada who also directed the construction. Stopping on the way at the Mormon colony of Colonia Juárez, the group arrives early enough at Mata Ortiz to visit the homes of several more artists. Saturday and Sunday nights are spent in the village at Marta Veloz’ clean and comfortable Casa de Marta (she's famed for her cooking). Sunday is dedicated to visiting homes of artists in each of the five barrios of Mata Ortiz. Monday the group returns to Tucson with short stops along the way. Tito likes to return through the little known border crossing at Antelope Wells and up through the scenic country around Hachita, Arizona to I-10 and then west. $375 per person not including meals and 3 nights lodging, for which add another $150. Contact Tito Carrillo (520-290-0305; 861-2068 Cell), Box 12322, Tucson AZ 85732

This church conducts annual tours from Tucson to Paquimé and Mata Ortiz for church members and the interested public. Tours are arranged through the Geronimo Educational Foundation (which see above). This year's tour will be October 24-26. Contact Barbara Sunderman (520-515-0890), Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, 4831 E. 22nd St., Tucson, AZ 85711.

The UNM Division of Continuing Education each year conducts a 4 or 5 day tour to Nuevo Casas Grandes, Paquimé and Mata Ortiz. Sometimes a more comprehensive, seven-day tour is offered, including Chihuahua City (two nights), the Copper Canyon (two nights) and Mata Ortiz (two nights). Groups average 16-20 persons. $1450/person ($1250 double occupancy) includes all expenses plus guided tours and lectures except for meals on days of travel to and from Albuquerque. Bilingual Mexican guide, Raúl Rodriguez. Next tour will be May 4-10, 2004. For more information contact Noberta Fresquez (505-277-6440) at the University. University registration office (505-277-0077).





About Mata Ortiz Mexico | Tours to Mata Ortiz | Meet the Artisis | Pottery Exhibitions | Pottery Publications | Buy Pottery | Traveling to Mata Ortiz | Mata Ortiz Videos | Mata Ortiz Web Sites | Mata Ortiz News | About Pottery | Anthropology Notes | Pottery