Thursday's Child: Artisans of Guatemala

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The potter's house
Totonicapan, Guatemala is known as a city of skilled artisans. It was our pleasure to visit two such craftsmen, to hear them talk about their artistry and watch them each create one of their pieces.

We began by meeting Julio, a third-generation potter who worked in a small, open-air studio. He explained that he uses a lower temperature to bake his ceramics (and even hopes to patent this idea). Unlike many local artisans, he uses lead-free glazes on his products so they can safely be used to serve food.

From the pottery studio, it was a short distance to visit Miguel Hernandez, a weaver. Miguel works with two looms. The first is a traditional Mayan loom built by his grandfather, which he uses to produce traditional patterns and simple modern pieces. He built the second fifteen years ago, and that one allows him to create more intricate designs.

Miguel graciously let me try weaving. If it looks like I'm working painstakingly slowly, you are correct.

Miguel worked a little faster than I did
Miguel's wife Rachel served us a wonderful lunch of chicken, potatoes, and carrot soup. Just like the farmhouse meal we ate in Xetonox, this simple fare was one of the best meals of our trip.

Artisan at work
My finished design
Local musicians performing in the town square


Pam said...

Interesting! I bet their work is beautiful.

Tricia Buice said...

How fun - hand made is so special!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

How lucky you were to see these skilled artisans work their craft! Thanks for sharing another trip with us :)

Marcela said...

WOW! How awesome it must be to see these artisans at work! I love your posts so much! This is so interesting, Beth! Thanks for sharing!
Have a lovely day, dear!

CQUEK said...

interesting post, glad to spend a day out there and learning something new.

Beth said...

Thanks for all your kind words, Marcela. I'm so happy you like my posts! Yes, it really was awesome seeing the artisans and their wonderful work.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures. What a wonderful trip!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Delightful time seeing these skilled folks making such beautiful items! And to enjoy a homemade soup too!

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