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Affordable Art and Crafts

El Paititi Studio
Chulucanas Ceramics

We are almost out of these ceramics.  This photo shows most of what is still available for purchase.
Be sure to contact us if you want to purchase any of these.

The ceramists of Chulucanas are decendants of the Vicus, a pre-Inca civilization that flourished in the northern coastal part of Peru from about 500 BC to about 500 AD.  Ceramics are a way of life in this community and many studios thrive here, producing artwork that ranges from reproductions of traditional Vicus and Inca era forms to stark modern designs. 

Percy Purizaca, Owner, artist/designer
and manager of studio

Rudolfo at work throwing a pot
El Paititi creates their ceramics basically the same way their ancestors did 2500 years ago, although they recently began using the potter's wheel and will soon build a larger state-of-the-art kiln.  The kiln will still be wood-fired however.  Percy refuses to use gas or electric fired kilns. 

Cleaning and preparing the piece for glazing

Polishing the glazed surface with smooth stones
Even though this particular studio works in a contemporary style, all of their designs derive from ancient patterns and forms.  The clay is dug by hand from quarries in the hills nearby and processed by hand.  The shiny surface of the pottery is obtained not by using a vitreous or glassy glaze but by polishing with smooth stones while the glaze and pot are still damp.


Pots in the kiln after the first firing

Applying the designs with a clay paste

Smoking the pots in a second firing

Scraping off the clay paste
The rich colors and patterns are the result of a second firing in a special smoky kiln using mango leaves to achieve the thick smoke.  An interesting feature of this process is that each pot retains a rich smoky smell, often for years, after it is made.

There are easier ways to produce ceramics, but the artists of Chulucanas, and El Paititi in particular, refuse to give up their traditional techniques.  There is a long cultural history behind each work of art they create. 

Washing and cleaning the finished pieces

Done and ready to ship

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