First learned to pot in 1982 by watching Felix Ortiz. In the early 1980’s Macario and Ruben Lozano discovered a bright shiny black mark on a pot after firing (caused by a pencil mark – graphite – left on the pot). This was the initial discovery of the graphite additive that would revolutionize the making of blackware without firing by the traditional oxygen reduction technique. (Although many potters still use the oxygen reduction method with the graphite to get a black on black pot with the unpainted portions having a metallic sheen)
The story goes that Macario had practiced signing a pot with a pencil and after firing liked the signature’s metallic sheen. He then ground up the graphite in all of his childrens’ pencils to get enough graphite to polish more pots. Subsequently a trader brought him copier toner.
Macario and Ruben were also the first to experiment with bright colors of green, blue, red, and white (from different minerals they find in the surroundings of Mata Ortiz) painted over black graphite.