nicor ortiz jr from Mata Ortiz

Nicolas Ortiz Jr.

Nicolas Ortiz Jr. was born July 3rd, 1992 in Juan Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, Mexico. Since he was a child he observed his father, Nico Ortiz Sr, working. His father is well known for his smoked clay animal figurines. At age 12 he began helping him by sanding and polishing his pieces, and at age 18 he finally began making his own pieces, guided by Nico Sr. Out of the 6 people in his family, three of them are potters, his mother collaborates with his father.


Nico speaks of his dreams as his inspiration when it comes to working with clay, he takes the designs that he can remember in the morning and renders them unto his pieces. Other sources of inspiration are landscapes or feelings that one goes through in life, such as sadness, joy, anger. 


His speciality is animal figurines, and his favorite part of the process is the shaping of the animals. He’s never one to shy away from a challenge when it comes to his pieces. His style is quite traditional, primarily focused on animal shapes with traditional paquime designs. He still fires his pieces traditionally with an oxygen reduction process to create his signature black on black style.


Ortiz cites his father as his biggest inspiration. He describes him as a “great musician, a great stone sculptor, acrylic painter, and a good ceramist”, who always surprised him with his intelligence and ability of making pottery.”

Nico Ortiz Jr. still resides in Mata Ortiz to this day, where he lives with his family and is actively producing more outstanding pottery and creating a name for himself.



  • 2017- Second Place in the sculpture category of the annual Mata Ortiz Concurso.

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