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H: 6.25" W: 13.5"


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, and 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, and anger. 


His specialty is animal figurines. 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 to make 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

  • 2021-  First Place in the sculpture category of the annual Mata Ortiz Concurso

  • 2021- First Place in the sculpture category of the Concurso Nacional de Ceramica.


Mata Ortiz Pottery is a recreation of the Mogollon pottery style found at the historic sites of Casas Grandes in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. This ancient cultural tradition has traveled to us through the past by way of archaeological reclamation. Artists today have sought to recapture the beauty of this pottery and have developed that into the Mata Ortiz pottery style.

Nico Ortiz Jr. - Turtle With Face


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