The story of southwestern New Mexico - past, present, and future - may be told in clay. Humble as dirt, strong as brick, practical as a pocket, and delicate as crystal, it is the most basic element of life in the land of enchantment. It is the object of a human love affair with the earth itself.

Clay was crucial to the ancient Mimbreño people, the Spaniards, Mexicans, and the settlers of the late 19th century. Thanks to mineral-rich soil and diverse geology, the arid land yielded malleable material for making every imaginable item: from bowls to water jugs, walls to chimneys, flooring to roof tiles. Clay was a practical and easy-to-use material that molded and melded these diverse cultures.