Patty Osborne's Blog

Day 7: Nicaraguan Journal


djembe, an African drum that was introduced to Nicaragua by a potter from Africa and has since become known to gringos who are not as well-informed as we are, as a "traditional Nicaraguan drum." La Naranja is a family-run pottery that you get to by takinga short drive from San Juan de Limay and a longer walk down a steep and rocky road. We pulled several mysterious and heavy metal pieces from the back of the van and lugged them down the hill and they turned out to be the parts for an extruder, which we put together and mounted beside the studio door on one of the few solid beams in the place.

Rio Abajo. El Calero is close to San Juan de Limay but the road we had to take is rough and rocky and runs through a river bed that, at this time of year, is usually dry. The potters at El Calero (all of whom are women) have many challenges: so far they have not been able to form a strong, cohesive group; they are not proficient throwers and they have no one to teach them; they have little contact with larger centres and so have difficulty coming up with design ideas; and they have difficulty getting their wares to market and buyers seldom brave the rough road to get to them. The one advantage they have over other potteries is ready access to four different colours of clay—light orange, red, black and light purple—which they use for decorating and in making jewellery. However, their finishing is still little rough and we all agreed that the women of El Calero could use some help to make their business more successful.



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Kris Rothstein

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Michael Hayward's Blog
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