bowls Bolivia

Outside of town, deep into the countryside by foot, we find a family workshop for functional and decorative ceramics. Between the chicken and children in diapers running underfoot it's amazing what is created here.

The clay used is literally dug up from different areas around the workshop and kept in large tubs of water after it is sifted down to varying degrees of fineness. The bowls are then turned on simple wheels powered by foot, left to dry in the hot sun and are prepped for glazing. The pigments they use are also direct from the land. There are several minerals, when grounded and mixed with a binder, make perfect pigments. Juan shows us a nugget of what will become yellow paint.

There are several homemade kiln ovens on the property. Each have been modified over the decades to best bake the ceramics and some of them have been made into figurative sculptures to boot. The bowls are all painstakingly hand painted by several different skilled family members.
It's hard to describe the remoteness and bareness that surrounds this little business oasis.