As technology advances, it seems as if crafts such as pottery would become one of the first endangered arts. After all, why spend more for handmade, when a machine can do just as good a job out of it? But the time for pottery is far from over. In an interview with the Inquirer, potter John Pettyjohn remembers when they had as few as six potters in the country back in 1970s. Over the years, he has witnessed the growth of a tight-knit community of as many as thirty potters today.
Each potter has their own story to tell behind their craft. Often, it starts from the rediscovered joy of creating by hand that keeps them coming back to the potter’s wheel. No wonder then that the right handcrafted piece does more than plate food or set the mood. It has even been observed to affect one’s appetite, turning otherwise simple meals into something truly special. And here’s where you can find these pieces to see for yourself, order, or even make, to create that kind of experience.
1. Clay Avenue Pottery Studio
For Clay Avenue’s Mia Casal, pottery is a deeply personal journey. She not only creates the pieces and delivers them to clients and patrons herself, she also manages and teaches classes in hopes to inspire others with her love for clay. Her handmade clay pots and ceramic jewelry are for sale at local bazaars, and may be seen on exhibit around the country and abroad.
Address: San Narciso, Zambales
2. Lanelle Abueva-Fernando Pottery
Where most local potters draw a clear line between function and art, Fernando has happily reconciled the two in her work. Fernando’s love for pottery has led to the creation of Antipolo landmark, The Crescent Moon Cafe, which is also known for its delicious food. Her loyal clientele for her handmade stoneware ceramics includes restaurants, hotels, even spas.
Address: Ascension Rd, Bgy Dalig, Antipolo City
3. Pettyjohn Pottery
Whoever would have thought that John Pettyjohn once peddled his pottery at exhibits from his own suitcase? Over thirty years later, he and his wife, Tessy, are considered pioneers of modern Philippine pottery who do more than create functional pieces for our homes. They have spearheaded the Putik Association for potters in 2003, teach pottery from their home and workshop in Laguna, all while pushing more of their medium to create modern art.
Address: Bucal, Calamba, Laguna
4. The Stoneware Pottery Inc
The Stoneware Pottery Inc was co-founded by German Master Craftsman, Clemens Wirth, using materials directly from Germany. Wirth takes over thirty years of experience in pottery with him to the town of Bulua, training his potters not only in the craft but the business and marketing aspect of it as well. All pieces are moulded by hand, no moulds used. Aside from plateware, pieces also include vases and baking tins. They also accept special customized orders that include embossing or incarved corporate logos.
Address: Zone 8, Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City
5. Ugu Bigyan’s Potter’s Garden
Another name familiar to local pottery, Ugu’s nature-inspired ceramics and clayware has drawn crowds from all over to his workshop in Tiaong, Quezon. He has since expanded his workshop to serve guests snacks, meals, or even stay the night. Best time to go would be in August, for his birthday sale when products are discounted by his age.
Address:490 Alvarez Village, Brgy Lusacan, Tiaong, Quezon