Guillermina Aguilar – Master Clay Artist

Hand-painted clay chicken jar
Guillermina Aguilar
Guillermina Aguilar

Guillermina Aguilar, the eldest of the four famous Aguilar sisters, was born in Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca. Inspired by her fertile imagination, her ceramic repertoire is rich. In the beginning, she created figures of ducks, hens and bulls, and later turned to more complicated female figures in highly detailed costumes, down to their dangling earrings. They engage in every facet of daily life, such as selling and carrying their wares and nursing babies. She also creates stunning trees of life standing nearly a yard high, and whimsical water jugs with animal heads, as well as whole scenes of weddings, fandangos, wakes, baptisms, and other traditional celebrations. Guillermina clearly adores each figure she creates, caressing it as if alive. She regards the faces of her pieces, which are especially expressive, as her greatest contribution.

Taught by both her grandmother and mother, Guillermina’s sense of connection to her mother permeates her life. It is evident in her work, and in the prominently placed display case that preserves four of her mother’s few remaining pieces – forming a kind of cherished shrine – and the altar dedicated to her mother’s memory. The altar stands next to the outdoor wooden table at which Guillermina carries out her creative work for long hours each day.

In turn, Guillermina has passed on her art to her own children, while giving them the freedom and support to find their own courses in the field of pottery making. Still prolific, Guillermina creates pottery that continues to evolve and inspire. El Interior currently has a wonderful selection of her work due to our long-running relationship with this incredible artist. (Sources: Mexican Folk Art from Oaxacan Artist Families and Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art).

Check out our gallery of her work!