Oaxaca Black Clay Mug: Support Artisan Communities


Learn more about the sustainable black clay mug sourced by Dr. Kiona and Karen Ramos.

Enjoy the Oaxaca Black Clay Mug and support artisan communities!


This special, made-to-order piece is 100% handcrafted from black clay, barro negro, native to Mexico’s south. To bring you and our communities extra joy this holiday season, we teamed up with travel educator Dr. Kiona and native Oaxaqueña Karen Ramos. The friends and digital creators helped us source a sustainable product to support both our people, workers and crafters alike.

Rich in dark gray color variation, and handmade characteristics, no mug is exactly like the other.

Where to source was an easy one for us. Mexico, of course, our main tile hub, that celebrates artisan, handmade products. From here on, Kiona and Karen had free reign to decide on a piece that will make all our holidays!

So, they went to magical Oaxaca…

Finally, Dr. Kiona and Karen arrived to San Bartolo Coyotepec. San Bartolo is home to many, even national award winning potters who have mastered the craft of black clay pottery. Black clay is only available in the state of Oaxaca and exclusively reserved for a small group of indigenous crafters. And they are receiving the clay for free. The legend is that only men of their pueblo can harvest the black clay or the clay turns to stone. It is also prohibited for anyone not from the pueblo to harvest the clay, to prevent depletion of resources.


The process to make a cup takes weeks. From harvest to drying to chopping wood from a nearby forest, firing, and decorating, all is meticulously crafted by hand, and only using regional resources..

“My work is sacred. I am 71 years old and it is an honor and privilege to this work and to pass the work to my sons. I only have 6.”

María Guadalaupe Canton Pérez, award winning potter 

In the 1960s, the plastic industry invaded their pueblo and black clay sales decreased. We are here to help allow the artisans to continue their amazing craft. Furthermore, we are committed to provide you with a completely plastic-free experience. All packaging and shipping materials are biodegradable. You could even return the mug itself back to the earth!

…and then packaged for you in recyclable card boxes.

The Oaxaca Black Clay Mug for you!

This holiday season, Clay Imports is offering the Oaxaca Black Clay Mug for special order. Each mug is crafted just for you! Please allow for about 8 weeks for your mug to arrive. The Oaxaca Black Clay Mug is only available for a limited time, and the last day to order is December 25. This process will allow for minimal waste and thoughtful purchases. Want to send a mug to a loved one? We will email them a card to get them excited about the gift!

Our hope is that you are getting beautiful, sustainable, and unique pieces of art and function AND to support the artisans and workers through the holiday season.

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