on the road {in Peru}

posted on May 9th, 2014

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last week i traveled to Peru to work with a company called Allpa..(above a door from chulacanas..and below the famous Moto Taxi)

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i was brought to Lima as a design ambassador, and given the task of re-imagining the traditional crafts produced by the company.

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one of their top clients is West Elm..and my number one job was to re design pottery that is produced in the northern town of chulacanas.

(above and beloware the wee “babies” we made in a variety of brights)

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after the pieces come off the wheel they are covered in platic bags to prevent everything from getting too dried out.

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before the pieces are thrown the clay is weighed and wedged to get all the air out of it.

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before pieces get fired for the first time,  they get covered in an engobe or colored slip that is buffed and buffed until it achieves a satisfactory shine!

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i had seen a sample of simple dots on one of their smoke fired vases and worked on a grouping in assorted greens and blues..that we covered in dots.
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traditional to the chulacanas style is the smoke firing using fatty mango leaves that leaves the pots blackened when they come out of the kiln
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.the studio is light and life filled..some of the artisans even have their children come to spend time..just like i do in boston with my kids..the whole place felt wonderfully familiar.
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here are some trix of the trade..it seems in order to get a glossy black finish consistent, they use boot polish!

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pots that are being finished and readied for shipping.
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the studio.

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our collection of dotty pots

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when we returned to the office in Lima..we discussed using a gold leaf on the surface of a group of blackened pots, as well as a

notion of combining a textile to the surface of others..these are initial stages..but i am quite excited to see the end result.

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stay tuned..


2 responses to “on the road {in Peru}”

  1. judith Bigham says:

    jill ….these are beautiful pieces…the the dotties !

  2. […] Jill knows that Allpa is fortunate to have a great customer base already in place and she believes they will be delighted with the new designs she’s come up with. If you’re interested in reading more about Jill’s trip to Peru and her experience working with the makers she met there, check out her blog. […]

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We design and hand make ceramic pottery in our Boston studio. It’s one of a kind, custom, giftware, serveware, tableware with a gilted 14k gold edge.
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