My very favorite form of folk art ceramic is the pineapples of Michoacan, Mexico. Traditionally, the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality. And, usually the artists who craft these pieces use green, yellow, brown, and sometimes blue glazes. The clay is found near San Jose de Gracia and Patamban. First, it is ground to a powder in a hand mill. Then it is modeled and molded. The first firing is an open pit fire. The pit is covered near the end of the firing. After the pineapples have cooled, they are glazed with the distinctive glazes. During the second firing, the pieces must be stilted and kept apart, as all parts are glazed.
I am the happy owner of two Michoacan pineapples. They welcome me into my living room after a hard day at work, and take me back to memories of a fun trip to Mexico with Jana and Darryl a few years back. The glaze glows in lamplight, or in candlelight. I know that this sounds crazy, but if there was a disaster at my house, I might be seen running out into the street in my pajamas… with a Michoacan pineapple under my arm. Maybe.