Luis Cortez

Burnished Mud Specialist

Master Craftsman

To this day he has created countless handcrafted pieces and as time goes by, he has managed to develop a distinctive line.

Now, Luis Cortez is recognized as a great master in the craftsmanship of the Mexican popular art and as a specialist of millennium-old techniques such as the burnished mud.

The Beginning

Luis Cortez first started as Salvador Vázquez Carmona´s apprentice.

It was in this moment at an early age when Luis Cortez showed a particular interest for the noble craft of pottery. At only thirteen years old he started to learn the basic concepts of pottery: smoothing down, burnishing and baking the mud.

Taking Flight

With time and his acquired experience, he understood the value and importance of establishing his own workshop. This happened in the year 1986. From there he decided to embark on his own path. Years of effort, dedication and perseverance managed to position him, little by little, as a renowned craftsman.

He started creating its own models and perfecting his style. His hard work and constant progress helped him get a strong local recognition and at the same time, he has participated in national and international expositions.

Experience in Detail

Luis Cortez is one of the most prolific and current artisans of Tonalá´s municipality. He is a remarkable representation of the continuity and reinvention of the tradition. His mastery in decoration and finishing on his pieces have turned him into a benchmark of burnished mud.

Each one of his pieces shows a level of detail that can only by acquired with two things: experience and desire to improve. The quality and beauty of these pieces have been appreciated in multiple competitions where he has received numerous distinctions and awards.

Distinctive Seal

Luis Cortez reflects a part of his personality in every one of the pieces he makes. They are creations made from his imagination and his sensibility towards good taste. The Tonalteca iconography that he imprints into his work is born out of the necessity to preserve it; tradition always goes along with his pieces.

His distinctive seal is the “churumbelas” to which he gives a personal touch by decorating them with fish, birds, ferns, stylized flowers and traditional Nahuales (mythological guardian spirits) accompanied with beautiful colors.

“In the beginning it was probably the pleasure of the recognition of contests, but the most rewarding thing to me is the recognition I get here, in the workshop. There are people who stay two or three hours, and I can sense how they leave feeling grateful. To me, at this point of my life, that is the most important”. Luis Cortez

International Recognition

His work has had presence in Tonala, Tlaquepaque and Guadalajara galleries, as well as in Mexico City and other entities of the Mexican republic.

He has also transcended borders with expositions in cities of the like of New York, New Jersey, and Denver in the United States.

His pieces are incredibly appreciated by great private collectors of art who shelter his works in countries of Europe such as France, Germany, Poland and Holland.

His works have also gotten to countries like Japan and India.

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