Ceramics in South America

Dateline: 03/10/97

South and Central American Ceramics are often associated with bright, colorful, low-fired terracotta or earthenware works. The firing techniques are usually old and simple -similar to techniques used in Africa. This sometimes means firing without a kiln. Firing without a kiln? It's not as simple as it may sound, as pit-firing and bon-firing techniques need to be planned properly and controlled to ensure success. The heating and cooling processes must be kept slow, to minimize cracking. Fuel for such firings may range from wood to grass to dung.

Mata-Ortiz Pottery from Mexico has gained recognition for their traditional pueblo pottery, fired using the traditional 'primitive' techniques mentioned above.

South and Central America also deliver a rich playground for archaeologists, with a large collection of ancient ceramics available in todays museums. The people of South America experimented with clay, producing Ceramic Figurines and other artefacts useful to them in their daily lives.

While South and Central American Pueblo techniques and materials may differ radically to the North or Europe, as does the philosophy of making, the work from this region is instilled with a simple beauty that in many cases is hard to rival.

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