Our month long summer vacation to Medellín has turned into an engaging trip brimming with opportunities. For me personally, I was able to attend a Campos de Gutierréz ceramic workshop, "Effects of Reduction in a Wood Fired Kiln". This post is a reflection of that workshop.
It's been ages since I made anything in clay; a three-week ceramic May Term at Earlham College was probably the last time. I love to learn, and enjoy working with my hands, so approached this workshop with an open-mind and eagerness for learning the different terms in Spanish.
The first weekend was dedicated to the methods and techniques of making. Pinching, coiling, slabs, and throwing pots on the wheel.
The second weekend focused on glazes. Our "maestra", Silvia conducted the bisque firing in the electric oven prior to the class. We spent the day learning about the composition of our "esmaltes" and applying them to our ceramic pieces.
The final stage which is yet to be completed is the firing of the works in an Olsen kiln, using wood collected from the farm's grounds. Which leads me to the location of this taller.
Campos de Gutierréz, Hacienda de Media Luna, La Casa Grande, is a place with many names and has a rich history. Built approximately one hundred and sixty-five years ago as a coffee plantation, this beautiful two-story adobe structure has become a thriving multifaceted site. A place some call home; a place many people have visited; a place for ceramic workshops; and now a place where one can delve into the rich coffee culture through Coffee Tours.
La Casa Grande itself is located merely twenty-five minutes from the bustling city of Medellín but one wouldn't know as the site is sublimely peaceful and anything but hectic. We've lived in a cabin located just a few yards from La Casa Grande, and over the past weeks I've had to learn to walk without fear from the three cows blocking my path in demand of their morning share of guavas.
Euphoric, engaging, a breath of fresh air, a long way away from what we've grown accustomed to. These are a few of the many reasons we have decided to come back again sooner and stay a while longer.