Patty Osborne's Blog

Day 12: Nicaraguan Journal

DAY 12

Achieving the same effect with glazing would require costly chemicals and much more fuel (wood) in order to reach a high enough temperature to mature the glazes. Electric firing is out of the question here due to the unreliability and the high cost of electricity, so even these sophisticated-looking pots are fired in wood-burnng kilns like the one below on the right.

Often, after the colour has been applied and burnishing is complete, further decorating is done by scratching patterns through the coloured layer (scraffito) or by chipping the colour away in solid sections, leaving the raw clay colour but with a beautiful repetitive texture.

When we arrived at the shop of world-renowned potter Helio Guitérrez his daughter ran around the corner to fetch her dad while we marvelled at Helio's work. His sophisticated forms and decoration were astonishing and several of us found room in our budgets and our suitcases for pieces of his work.

Helio urged us to visit his teacher, Gregorio Bracamonte, who lives just down the road and who makes replicas of pre-Columbian pottery—beautiful shapes covered with intricate decoration. Even though our visit was unplanned, Gregorio ushered us through his house to his studio and spent at least an hour explaining his processes and showing us examples of his work. At the moment, Gregorio has only one apprentice working with him, a young man who continued to painstakingly paint brightly-coloured designs on a large piece even as we wandered around asking questions and gawking at everything.

When we had exhausted both ourselves and our wallets, we headed back to the Monkey Hut where we feasted on Maritza's special chicken stew (we all agreed that hers was the best we had tasted, and we had tasted a lot of chicken stew) and then we sat around the table reflecting on everything we had experienced over the past 12 days.



Kris Rothstein's Blog
Kris Rothstein

VIFF 2019: MODES 1

A collection of experimental short films encourages immersion in image and sound.
Geist news

Winners of the 15th Annual Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest!

Announcing the winners of the 15th Annual Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest!
Michael Hayward's Blog
Michael Hayward

VIFF 2019: "Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom"

A young Bhutanese teacher, wrestling with his commitment to that career, is sent to the remote Himalayan village of Lunana, to fulfill the final year of his contract.