Luis Manuel Morales Gámez, Tzintzuntzan native, artist, and master potter, has created highfired ceramics for 25 years. His family has worked clay for five generations. His sister, Angelica Morales Gamez, also a world class master potter, works in the same town.
Manuel Morales got his start as a child at eight years old and showed promise. Manuel had the opportunity to study painting and graphic design at the University of Michoacán in Morelia, where he was influenced by the great Mexican painters Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco, Rodolfo Tamayo, and Pablo Picasso. He studied the ancient cultures of South America and Mexico, and in particular his own Purhépecha culture and incorporated into his own work ancient, the symbols found on the yácatas (pyramids) just outside the village.
He creates pottery which reflects his own world view, a view which integrates past and present and expresses the vitality, soul, and spirit of his village. His greatest inspiration comes from the natural world, in particular Lake Patzcuaro where since childhood he has watched the unchanging rituals of fishermen as they set sail at dawn or under the full moon, in expectation of their return with a full catch.