I was privileged to work and learn from local potters and
ceramic artists who share my passion for creating from clay.
|In the town of Vigan, I worked on the largest potter's wheel I've ever seen.|
|The wheel gives new meaning to "kick-starting."|
|With a sufficient kick, the wheel can tuns for several minutes. Before the arrival of the |
Spanish in the Philippines, Chinese settlers started a still-active pottery industry here.
|The resident caribou is often called upon to prepare or wedge the clay!|
|Accompanying the largest wheel I have ever seen, the RG Jar studio boasts the longest|
kiln I have ever set my eyes on. At 50 meters, it can hold about 1000 large jars.
Dating from 1823, it is truly a fantasitc sight.
|"Burnay" earthenware jars produced here, were originally used as vessels for |
the fermentation of sugar cane wine, and fish paste. Today, they are generally
sold as decorative ceramic pots to adorn homes and gardens.
As in many areas of the world, residents of the village of Dalupa, in Kalinga Province,
carry on a pottery tradition that spans centuries.
|I shared precious time in Dalupa, where potters were eager to show me their local techniques.|
|They skillfully form clay vessels by hand.|
|Using clay found right near their mountain homes. |
|The clay is molded methodically, while turning a stand by hand. |
|A smooth stone is used to burnish the unfired clay vessels, and the metal ring of a flashlight serves to shape the clay. |
|After firing the clay, while it is still hot, a stick with resin from a local pine tree |
is passed around the vessel, sealing onto the pottery, a local glazing technique.
|These finished vessels are then ready to use on a fire for cooking. |
|Local Dalupa potters had fun watching my demonstrations. |
|I was honored to share my own work with them. |
|Of course at home I do not work outside on the ground in the enervating tropical heat, |
but inside a studio on an electric wheel.
|These potters took time out from busy schedules working in their|
rice fields to attend my clay workshop.
|I enjoy adapting my skills to the local environment, always a good challenge. |
In Sagada, a town in the Philippine Mountain Province,
exceptional pottery is produced using local clay.
|The Sagada Pottery studio is nestled in the trees. With weather so damp, |
pots must be dried for at least a month before a first firing in the kiln.
|Local potters, Siegrid Bangyay, and Tessie Baldo, run the studio, |
and produce unique and fabulous work.
|They were incredibly welcoming, allowing me to share my favorite |
forms and techniques at their studio.
Ceramic Artist, Hadrian Mendoza, graciously invited
me to the opening of his show in Baguio.
|His mesmerizing work often defies gravity, quite a feat to produce. |
|Spectacular pieces dazzle the eyes, and leave one wanting to learn and see more. |