This informational picture book about the renowned potter Juan Quezada of Mexico is organized in a three-part structure. The basic story of how Quezada makes his pots according to the ancient methods of the Casas Grandes people is told in the form of a rhyme based on “The House That Jack Built.” Narrative prose accompanies each verse with more detailed information about the process. Photographs and additional information about the artist and the community in which he lives and works are given at the end of the book.
While still a young boy, Juan Quezada became fascinated with pottery after finding potsherds, pieces of broken pottery, from the Casas Grandes civilization in northern Chihuahua, Mexico. Quezada began experimenting with local clays and with colors mixed from local minerals. He was soon using traditional methods to produce clay pots of a fine arts caliber. In time Quezada was discovered and gained worldwide recognition for his art. He taught members of his family and some neighbors the methods he used and helped transform his small village of dirt roads, Mata Ortiz, into an internationally known community of potters. Today collectors from around the world visit the village to acquire the pottery of Mata Ortiz.