Tessie Baldo, Siegrid Bangyay, and Ardeth Angway Butic all trained at the Sagada Pottery Training Center in Sagada, Mountain Province. At the Center, it’s hands-on work in all the stages of making pottery: finding suitable clay deposits and glaze ingredients, processing clay, throwing forms on the wheel, testing, mixing and applying glazes, and firing the kiln.
Learning to process raw clay is already painstaking and tedious. And it is only the first step. Pottery is fairly new in Sagada where there is no local tradition in the production of stoneware pottery. Ceramic artists Tessie, Siegrid, and Ardeth have engaged the craft in a manner that enables them to produce works that are unique to Sagada and to them as artists. It is a form of creative expression that also reflects the local clay and glaze resources as well as Sagada’s cultural environment where their stoneware is crafted.
Sagada has a rich array of geologic materials for pottery. These potters work with various types of locally sourced materials in their clay body and glaze mixtures. Sagada glaze materials like Lumiang mineralized soil, pine ash, or wood ash are blended with materials from other sources.
Sagada potters continue to study and explore the vast realm of glazing. The artists’ goal is to produce stoneware that will use higher proportions of locally found clay and glaze materials. (E.R. Alcantara)