Tepalcate art


As I understand it, tepalcate is the Mexican-icized version of the Nahuatl word (perhaps tepalcatl) for broken ceramic…. I’ve seen a lot of them, and even washed quite a few….

Thursday, we strolled to a nearby restaurant*; it’s billed as Mexican, but I would describe it as Mexican-influenced, rather nouvelle, and generally Latin. I neglected to ask where the chef is from. They’ve had a few. One was of Puerto Rican descent and from NYC, so you can tell the “Mexican” part is loosely interpreted.

One wall is textured, and painted a lovely deep red. It’s ornamented with small broken prehispanic ceramic shards on wire spikes. As near as I could tell, they’re real. No reason not to be. Many, many fields have lots of these, broken by generations of plowing….

* Their web page fails to open, so why name them and why provide a link?


  1. Mary Jo says:

    Wow, that’s a great picture! Did you photoshop it at all? It looks like the pottery shard is floating above the textured wall (but then, we’ve been driving for 12 hours a day the last two days and I’m drinking a glass of sherry!).

  2. Sammy says:

    That’s what it looked like; I didn’t even crank the color using Photoshop. The mounting wires (directly behind each sherd, and invisible from dead on) gave the stunning depth of field….