Gorky Gonzalez’s charming pottery continues the centuries-old tradition of glazed majolica earthenware associated with Mexico, Spain, and Italy, often exuberantly painted in vivid colors with animals, fruits, vegetables, and mythical and religious scenes.
He learned the art from his sculptor father, Rodolfo Gonzalez, a contemporary of famed muralist Diego Rivera. Later, Gorky perfected his pottery skills in Japan, picking up the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi — the belief that each piece has a soul, particularly those crafted by hand.
When he returned to Mexico, Gorky opened a workshop in Guanajuato, which had once been a center of majolica. There, he perpetuated the traditional art for future generations and reignited its popularity. Except for a few changes, including making the pottery food-safe, Gonzalez’s workshop uses the same majolica techniques today as were used decades ago, and is run by his son, Gorky Gonzalez Ono.