There must be a special line in Mamerto Sanchez’s palm indicating the importance of clay in his life. His many awards acknowledge his mastery of clay, from his birthplace all the way to the far corners of the US and Europe. His devotion to the medium is no coincidence: he was born into a family of talented potters, and grew up in a town steeped in artisan culture.
Mamerto learned his art from his grandfather and father, both admired potters and artists. As a young boy, Mamerto assisted his elders with the preparation of clay. Over time he evolved into potting and sculpting, and developed an expressive style – with a special interest in the stories of the Quinoa people and their functional and ceremonial ceramics.
Mamerto’s birthplace, Quinua, in the Ayacucho province of Peru, is known for its artesanias. Ceramics are at the center of life in this lovely sierra town of red-tile roofs topped with ceramic churches or bulls. These ornaments protect against evil spirits.
“Mamerto is by far one of the best traditional ceramic folk artists in Peru,” says Mari Solari, who sells his wares at Las Pallas, her Lima boutique. Working with local clay and native, natural pigments his churches and figurines are both organic and traditional. “The colors are soft to the eye and true to their origin,” Mari comments.
To purchase a piece of Mamerto Sanchez’s art, visit Las Pallas at Calle Cajamarca 212, Barranco, Lima.