AVA Presents Lead-Free Mexican Pottery

November 24, 2010

in Entertainment,News

The public is invited on November 7 when the non-profit organization Barro Sin Plomo (BSP) “Clay without Lead ” will celebrate the work of Mexican artisans at AVA Gallery & Art Center with a benefit event to sell and exhibit Mexican lead-free pottery.
In 1978, the United States and Europe banned the importation and sales of leaded functional pottery to protect its consumers. This closed the majority of trade between the U.S. and the Mexican artisan ceramics industry. As one of the BSP founders and internationally ceramic sculptor from Meriden, NH Eric O’Leary makes so clear, “Think of the human cost. Every day that goes by represents the many hours that Mexican ceramists and their families ingest lead paint and they suffer the health consequences.”
Eric O’Leary has been involved in all aspects of the development of the “clay without lead” model in Mexico from lead-free glaze development, fuel-efficient kiln design, training of artisans and trainers, to helping identify the initial funding to launch the organization. The lead-free program is one that has been developed in Mexico and the United States through cross-cultural collaboration and lead-free glazes are now available that can enable these artisans to preserve and profitably promote their artistic culture without putting their families at risk.
By participating in the November 7 event one might help ensure that artisans do not have to poison themselves to make a living and assist BSP in training new potters in the use of safe ceramic practices. This will be BSP’s third year holding events in New Hampshire and Vermont and as the current director of BSP USA Anna O’Leary reflected, “It has been amazing to see the commitment and enthusiasm to help support the preservation of Mexico’s beautiful and distinct handmade pottery traditions from my community. We are very excited to be working with AVA and showing Mexican lead-free pottery in Lebanon for the first time.”


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