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Black Clay is a pottery style from Oaxaca, México. It is distinguished by its color, brightness and unique designs. The origin of this kind of pottery goes back to Monte Albán civilization times and for most of its history, it had a characteristic grayish matte finish. Around 1950, a woman called Rosa Real Mateo de Nieto (Doña Rosa) found out that color and brightness of the pieces could be changed by polishing and cooking them at a slightly lower temperature. Just before the piece made from clay gets totally dry, it's polished using a quartz. After cooking, the piece has a black shine instead of a matte gray one.
Handcrafts of black clay are made in San Bartolo Coyotepec (town) and a lot of surrounding communities close to Oaxaca valley, places where the clay from which the handcrafts are made can be found. This community is seven miles south from Oaxaca city.