It is fascinating to learn the native techniques of the potters at Valentin Lopez Workshop and School of Ceramics located in San Juan del Oriente, Nicaragua.
We learned some history of their native peoples
How after they collect the clay from the mines they dance on it barefoot for two to three hours as their native people did in order to give the clay life and to live in harmony.
They create on the wheel which is soley run by their feet. The technique is truly with the artisan. What an art.
They polish, shine and paint the pottery with local tools such as this seed used for polishing.
After several days of drying, the peice is put into the oven. Depending upon the pottery size, they can fit up to 200 peices in the oven.
What is fascinating is that there is no temperature gauge on the ovens and the artisans use clay pieces on top of the oven to tell the temperature and at 900 degrees Celsius the pieces are ready.
The front is opened, and the pieces cool for two days before coming out. Fascinating- truly!We enjoyed bringing home pottery for family and friends.