"When we see our finished work and how it is appreciated, it's like we've given life to an object that will adorn someone's life."
"I'm Digna Mercedes Ampié, but my friends call me Dina or Digna. That's why I sign my designs as Dina, as a lot of people find it more complicated to call me Digna. My husband Felipe Gutiérrez works with me.
"When I was still in primary school, a teacher took us on a field trip to a ceramics workshop. I remember it so well. It had a great impact on me because we got to work the clay with our hands and were allowed to create anything we could dream of. Ceramics is also a source of employment and all this led me to begin working in clay.
"My last teacher became my husband and he continues to teach me techniques I'm still learning to master. This means I'm always growing as a ceramist and improving our designs.
"Today, we are teaching new generations who want to carry on the ceramic tradition in our town. I'm teaching our children, friends and acquaintances who come to us with a desire to learn. We're always looking for people who can intuit the meaning of art, which is the most beautiful part and is what hooks a person into wanting to keep learning and getting better.
"I consider myself a person with a lot of character and can speak my mind. I'm very careful when making agreements and doing business. I also like to supervise what's going on because, when I give my word that something is going to come about in a certain way, I don't like to fail those who are counting on me.
"I remember when my husband and I launched our workshop. Just the two of us worked here. I had to look after the children and also design our ceramics and it was really exhausting. But our desire to provide them with a better life was the fuel we needed to continue giving it our best effort.
"Our dream is to once again achieve good sales so we can continue to provide jobs for people in our town and offer the opportunity for a better life to even more people. We also want to continue developing new designs, as this is what attracts our shoppers.
"When I see a vase that's finished and ready to sell, I feel such satisfaction! I like to keep shoppers happy with the attractive designs we create, which mix pre-Hispanic elements with contemporary concepts.
"Establishing our workshop has been very difficult and required lots of hard work. But when we see our finished work and how it is appreciated, it's like we've given life to an object that will adorn someone's life.
"My husband and I work together in the workshop. He's the director and I supervise the ceramic process. Our children help us, and can craft pieces. Several young people from the community also help us with the carving, sanding, applying underglaze and painting. In this way, we all know our own small part in the workshop processes."