David Pompa was recently recognized as a rising talent at the Maison & Objet show in Miami for his beautiful cultural designs using the environmentally friendly materials, barro negro, talavera, woven plastics, and handblown glass. His design goal is to redesign Mexican artisan crafts into a contemporary context all the while respecting the craftsmanship and cultural identity. In this post, I’ll be exploring how David Pompa uses these materials for his beautiful works of functional art.

All images are from DavidPompa.com

Collecting barro negro for David Pompa's light fixture designs

Barro Negro

Barro Negro is unique in that the raw material is only found around San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca and gives a metallic finish once processed. But barro negro is no simple material to work with, it takes experience, sensitivity and time to get the metallic shine to be just right. Because such few families can successfully work with this material, they are able to secure the source of income that the craft brings.

Artisan preparing Barro Negro pottery. Design by David Pompa
David Pompa light pendants made from eco friendly barro negro originating in Mexico.


Talavera is a premium quality pottery, rich in Mexican cultural heritage. Only natural clay is used for the lighting fixture designs; they are never chemically treated. Great care is taken when producing talavera because each phase of the manufacturing process leaves the pottery vulnerable for breaking. Pompa’s redesign’s talavera by placing the pottery’s unique visual identity on contemporary shapes so that they fit well with traditional or modern interiors.

Mexican Talavera, pendant design by David Pompa
Talavera pendants

Hand Blown Glass

If you’ve ever watched the process of glass blowing, you’ll know how much care goes into it. In keeping with quality craftsmanship, all glass is blown by hand. Unlike some manufactures who call themselves green by using a small portion of recycled material, David Pompa uses 100% recycled glass for all glass products. The recycled glass creates tiny bubbles in the material, making each finished piece unique.

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Woven Plastic

Mexico has its own tradition on weaving; which is to “weave products in any product or form”. David Pompa designs durable outdoor furniture for the woven plastics line using a metal frame (as always, hand made) and plastic string. Even though, once again, the design is contemporary  which becomes very tough after the complex weaving process.

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It’s always a pleasure getting to meet wonderful design brands and the forward thinkers behind them. Here are some of my favorite finds this year’s Maison & Objet Americas show:

The Lumio Light by Max Gunawan

4 International brands that respect the environment

Who Says Home Design Better Than Fashion Icon Fendi?

Transforming function with Brazilian designer Leo Capote

Sustainable woven goods working to empower women

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