Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Outing to Ceramica Peru

The wife of our Area president invited me to visit Jorge, the owner and developer of Ceramica Peru, located about 20 miles from here on trecherous and truck clogged roads. After an hour we finally arrived unscathed and ready for an adventure. My friend Mary Ann Creer's daughter-in-law went as well. She and her husband are in their last month of a year in Peru. He has been working with the Area lawyer before he begins his own law practice this summer in the Chicago area. Stacy was buying gifts, Shelley was picking up a special order, and I had gone just to look, or so I thought.

Jorge and his wife are on either side of us. He told us that at one time he had over 100 artisans working for him. Now he has two potters, two painters, and his wife who helps with design and sales. He is the chief designer.
Behind us is an example of his designs and wares. He does full-service dinner ware in addition to specialty pieces like cake plates, serving platters, ice cream bowls, salsa servers, vases, pitchers, and candlesticks and candle holders of all shapes and sizes, and plant pots. I especially was fascinated with flat-back pots which can be hung on a wall or a fence.

This color, by the way, is the typical color used on inside walls, on cement buildings, and even on the old Spanish Colonial style buildings downtown. Our apartment building's trim is in this color--maracuya--(the final syllable is accented). The color mimics the color of a mild and sweet Peruvian fruit.

This is just one of serveral displays of pieces to choose from. Notice there are no fancy glass shelves or large tables displaying his different lines. The other pieces are scattered about on the floor like these colorful pieces in the typical colors and designs of Peru.

The painter near the wall is painting a large candle stick. The one near is painting a large serving tray. The brushes they are using are long and pointed for painting fine lines. There are brushes of all thicknesses and lengths for the different applications. The wall is constructed in the Inca manner, great stones fitted together to make a wall which runs the length of the property and holds back the mountain which comes right to the property. The clay quarry is on the property.

These pieces are waiting to be painted. They are sitting on a stone floor. The clay is fired at a 1000 degrees for nearly two days. The funky flower vases at the beginning of the blog were waiting to be painted as well, and I was surprised to see how rough and wihout personality they are before being painted. Dad and I have seen these vases at markets and in boutiques. They are painted in such designs to make one smile. It's fun to know where they were crafted.

These are a few of the designs. I am not sure what the pieces on the left are. I didn't get a picture of the salt and pepper shakers and I didn't see any finished shakers. Dad and I will go back together because he was quite fascinated by the pieces I bought.

We watched the potter make this pie plate. When we went back to watch her finish her project, she was fluting the rim just the way one would flute a pie crust.

Jorge asked this potter to show us how he uses this old potting wheel to make a bowl. He had the foot wheel really flying. There is more control with the foot than with an electric wheel. Jorge told us nothing is done by machine here. All the ceramics are done a mano.

The chunk of clay in the foreground is for his next project. He threw a small fruit bowl with a really graceful shape.

When we first arrived, the woman was working on this serving dish which will be fired later.

The potter is cutting and kneading the clay. He must have cut, pounded, and kneaded one piece 20 times. We didn't count...

The clay is in layers--when he finishes with the clay, it will be a solid block. Right behind him are great slabs of wet clay drying to the right dampness.

This is the bowl the young potter threw for us. Later he cut it free of the wheel.

Our tour was quite private. Shelley had to call Jorge ahead to tell him we were coming. Then we arrived at the unmarked garage door which she had to knock on quite loudly. He opened the garage door and motioned for us to park our car inside the hidden property. He closed the garage door behind us. Shopping is by appointment only. While we were there, a couple who have been in Peru for three years with the US Embassy, came to shop for gifts to take home. I am really looking forward to our return trip.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures, would you mind sharing the city where this business is located?.. How far away is it from Lima?.. Thanks!