Pottery with John PettiJohn

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Pottery with John PettiJohnJanuary 14, 2007

Pottery with John PettiJohn

I liken myself to a sponge - absorbing things around me and open to learning new skills that come upon my way. Sagada has a thriving ceramic center founded by reknowned Tennessee potter, Archie Stapleton. When I came to Sagada, it was my hope I might learn to create pottery as well. Village contraints however, do not allow me to do so. But that hasn't discouraged me from attending workshops or ceramic exhibitions, if and when they happen.

Potter Community
The potter community is quite tight. They seem to know each other and freely exchange knowledge bases and share skill sets. From what I know, there's also the Kibungan potters within the Cordillera. I've seen great work from these guys - the glaze, texture and form. It's not surprising the Sagada residents gradually build up a collection over time.

I was fortunate to chance on an unannounced pottery workshop conducted by the Putik Foundation at the Sagada Ceramic Center. Asked if I wanted to throw clay (throwing means shaping clay, usually with the use of the potter's wheel), hey, who's gonna say no to that? If that's not good enough, I was given a hand-holding by no less than the founder himself, John Pettijohn. He did the centering and guided me through on how to insert my thumb into the center, creating the openning with just the right amount of pressure. I still screwed up the lid and ended up with a coffee mug that's too shallow. But hey, it's a first!

Ending Thoughts
Sagada is an ideal place to learn pottery - from the ground up, literally. Given its mountainous surroundings, clay and glazing materials (glazing is the process of coating the piece with a thin layer of glassy material) are abundant. With the internet, particularly Wikipedia, there's so much resources on the theoretical approaches to pottery. After accidentally breaking Mimsy's Sagada-fired ceramic bowl, I promised I'll learn pottery and handcraft a replacement. With this introduction, I'm a step closer to that.

--- TheLoneRider

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