Sunday, May 18, 2014

Handcrafted gifts the Chorotega way, Tamarindo Costa Rica

For hundreds of years before Columbus ever set eyes on the rich coast of this country the Chorotega were masterly crafting beautiful items out of clay.  Today the boys and I ventured to Tamarindo to take part in something genuinely  Costa Rican, pottery classes from a master potter who's family has been practicing this skill for hundreds of years. 

Each kid looked around the shop and then selected a piece to recreate. 

First they squeezed the clay into submission :) then they were off. 
Arvin was wonderful with the kids. He carefully guided them while allowing them to take complete ownership of their projects and really get the full  experience of crafting a piece from scratch.  

The projects were completed in three sessions. First the boys roughly sculpted their pieces using their hands and corncobs which is a traditional method. 
There was a small lump of clay left over and I was able to make this cute little guy. 

Second they returned to refine their work, smoothing out the sides, carving in details and adding a coat of primer. 

In our last session the boys added their final touches using paints made with local plants and other natural materials. 

The pottery was fired in a special oven and ready the next day. We returned to the shop and picked up their pieces which we used as unique souvenirs for their grandmothers. 

This was an awesome authentic Costa Rican expericience that we highly recommned to anyone visiting the area. 

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