Lake Cajititlán is located 25 kilometers south of Guadalajara and 28 kilometers north of Chapala. There must be something special in the water because every community around this diminutive lake seems to be brimming with artists and artisans.
Here you can find furniture utilizing woven reeds, sculptures made of basalt, works of art created from horsehair, magnificent ropes hand-made from agave fibers and beautiful ceramics created from local clay.
For the moment, let’s concentrate on the potters. They all live in the pueblito of San Juan Evangelista on the south side of the lake.
I recently visited San Juan and walked into the workshop of Don Armando Barrera, who had learned the skills of a potter from his uncle.
“I was 14 but already producing my first pieces,” he told me. “Later I began to work independently. People would come along and ask me for something completely new. I would never say no. ‘Sure I’ll make that for you,’ I would say.