Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop--Learning about Juan Quezada a Mexican Potter

Today starts this year's Hispanic Heritage Month. The theme this year is Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids. To do this, I turned to books from the library. Anyone who reads Crafty Moms Share regularly knows I love to read books about other cultures and countries to Hazel. We both love to learn about them.  The first book we are sharing this month is The Pot That Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel. This is the story of Juan Quezada and his pottery.

Now I had not heard of Juan Quezada previously and we learned much from this book and it lead to some crafts of our own so our favorite type of book! Juan Quezada was born in 1940 in Mexico. He grew up in Mata Ortiz. At a young age he took on the job of collecting fire wood for his family. This job took him far into the Sierra Madre. While looking for wood he found many wonderful archeological finds of pottery from the Paquime that inhabited the area in the 1400s. Juan decided since the Indians made pottery all of the materials must come from nature and he experimented with making his own. He single handedly reinvented a lost technology. All of his pottery is made completely of natural materials and he only uses nature for his paints. He used his artifacts to figure out how to recreate this type of pottery and some say his is superior to the top of the Paquime's. The ancient Casas Grandes pottery is prized among collectors. 
Source: The Mata Ortiz Pottery Store

Juan changed the life for the people in his village. Many were ready to pack up and move away due to the failing farming in the desert. He however taught his methods to the villagers. There are over 500 skilled potters working in Mata Ortiz today. (Source)

While reading this story Hazel of course had many questions. The main one being can we try this. I looked into places to do pottery but found most were for older children. The art teacher I know at her school does not know how to use the kiln, but we at least were able to show Hazel what a kiln is. I settled on using air drying clay. I knew my church had some leftover from an event last year, so I went and got some. I actually needed to see if it was still good for this year's event and make samples for it. Hazel enjoyed getting the clay in her hands and working with it. I showed her how to make a pinch pot.

I made one and then let her ruin it and start over. She made one and we let it dry.
She also wanted me to take pictures of her messy hands to put on here.

The next day she wanted to play with more clay, so I pulled out some other clay I had and some clay tools--rolling pins and cookie cutters for the samples I needed to make for church. She played with the colors with some help and I used the brown clay. First she made a snail out of Model Magic. She apparently had made these in school and all of her friends wanted to know how she did it.

Then I was working on things for Christmas so she started doing the same. We will share the Christmas pieces later, but she made an earth ornament.
Then she used scraps to make a clay house.
And she made a ladybug once I found some black Model Magic for her.
Her clay pot is almost completely dry. I will let her decide if she wants to paint it or leave it as is.
Hazel keeps asking why we cannot just go dig up some clay in our backyard. I keep trying to explain that where we live we would have to dig pretty far to get clay with which we could make pots. I guess we will just have to experiment one of these days. For more information on Juan Quezada and his pottery check out Juan Quezada Pottery and Ballad of Juan Quezada on Frontline.
For more posts about Mexico and Hispanic Heritage Month check out:

Now onto the Blog Hop and Giveaway!!

Welcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 22 of our member blogs! Don't miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky! Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, "celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America" (from Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:
MKB HHM Twitter Party 
Don't miss our Twitter party "Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids," Tuesday, September 23, from 9 - 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!
MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win! Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.
Traditional Mexican toys and games.
A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.
A basket from Lanugo that includes Lanugo’s new book, “Lula la Consentida,” a limited edition “Latino de Corazón” infant apparel, and Seventh Generation’s earth conscious baby product essentials. US shipping only.
Spanish games for kids.
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.
Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.
A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together - Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World Citizen 
A child's sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.
Spanish games for kids.  
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
Spanish songs for kids.
Chocolalala - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi. 
Hola Hello - A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Spanish poems for kids.
Mis primeros poemas - A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.
Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.
Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.
Lingua Toys 
Spanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.
Bolivian Guiro 
Hand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.
Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.
Spanish ABC book from Libros Arellano.
Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.
¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto - Two children's books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.
A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.
ABC Fiesta - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
High frequency words books in Spanish.
Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.
Guatemala purse - Alarcon Restaurants 
Hand woven and leather Guatemala coin purse, a fun and vibrant gift. Given by - from their Gift Gallery in Antigua Real Restaurant, Mukwonago WI.

Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!
Las piñatas de Laly 
Beautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Link Up Your Posts Now it's your turn to share your posts! The linky will be open through October 15, so come back and share throughout Hispanic Heritage Month!