Juan Quezada Celado, master craftsman from Chihuahua, dies

Juan Quezada, a master potter from Chihuahua, passed away this Friday.

The so-called father of ceramics in the state of Chihuahua and international artisan, Juan Quezada Celado, died at the age of 82 in an accident, when he was driving in a truck to his ranch in the mountains of the municipality of Casas Grandes, where he overturned.

In the region, he is considered the greatest promoter of the pre-Hispanic culture of Paquimé or Casas Grandes de Oasisamérica, which flourished in the north of the country.

This potter enjoyed international prestige and in 1999 won the National Award for Science and Arts, in addition to other awards to his credit.

In the municipality of Casas Grandes, local police authorities reported that Don Juan’s body was trapped by the vehicle, being rescued by locals who recognized him as a native of the town of Juan Mata Ortiz, which he made world famous with his ceramics.

The accident occurred yesterday and today, after personnel from the Forensic Medical Service handed over his body to relatives, he was received by dozens of people at the entrance to the town of Mata Ortiz, to accompany his mortal remains.

While he was alive, he received dozens of awards and recognitions when exhibiting his works in international museums, and his family explained that approximately 50 years ago, Quezada Celado, an expert on the ceramic pots found when excavating the Moctezuma mounds, near Mata Ortiz, noticed the technique, style, instruments and methods used by ancient cultures and thus the development of ancient aesthetics.

They also announced that the anthropologist Spencer McCollum discovered the talent of his relative, who gave some pieces that he made to merchants in the United States with the knowledge that he had managed to rescue from the waves of one of the most important pre-Hispanic cultures in the area.

He was also a collaborator with his community, since he taught the technique with the community and gave way to an internationally recognized craft center.