TALLER RUIZ LOPEZ
At the core of Taller Ruiz Lopez is a mother of many children and among them the five sisters; Rufina, Maria, Cecilia, Leo and China and their brother Chalo. Juana Natalia López Lavida taught her daughters and sons independence, self-sustenance, hard-work and a love for ceramics which combined all three. After Rufina and Maria went off to college to earn an accounting degree and Leo became a medical doctor, the sisters came back together to form the studio and continue on the passion of their mother's work.
Taller Ruiz Lopez is located in Santa Maria Atzompa, which is the largest producer of clay in Oaxaca. The community is most famous for its green glaze pieces. The traditional process required to achieve the color and sheen of the glaze depends on the use of lead. Consequently within the last two decades, the ban on lead products has significantly threatened the community’s ability to survive on the contemporary market.
Taller Ruiz Lopez is the first studio among its peers to adopt innovative technology, developed by Procesos Proambientales Xaquixe in collaboration with Innovando la Tradición, which allows them to fire ceramic at temperatures above 1050°C using waste cooking oil. That process enables them to make high quality lead-free products which, in turn, has taken Taller Ruiz Lopez into the international market. The studio’s dedication to continue a family tradition combined with their resolve to allow innovations improve their process, makes them stand out among the artisan community. They are also an inspiring group of individuals within a unique family unit.