Crafted by Mrs Blanca del Carmen Albornoz, these triple candle candelabra come from the small village of Los Guáimaros in the state of Merida, at the heart of the Venezuelan Andes. Nestled amongst arid hills in an intriguing landscape where wind only blows at night, it is a village tradition to fire local clay between dusk and dawn, on open fires. Using the same loca-tions – often in front of the humble homesteads the locals inhabit – fires are set ablaze and monitored whilst a wide range of pieces mature in the licking flames. From crockery to Christian iconography, tableware to household items, the wares of this village embody the hardy nature and unique traditions of their creators.
La Casa del Páramo, from where these unique pieces of pottery come, boasts 27 years of experience in promoting and providing some of the finest Venezuelan artisanal wares. Over the years, local clay reserves have dwindled and an extensive network is now in operation, sourcing, transporting and supplying premium materials from further afield.
Neither the artist who created these pieces, nor those in her village who continue to produce pottery, use potter’s wheels whilst crafting their clay. The traditional technique adopted in lieu of this technology – especially when producing round pieces – is both fascinating and ingenious, testament to the creative potential that human being’s possess. A local variety of gourd is used as a makeshift plate, on which strips of clay are placed and moulded as the gourd is turned. The shape of the piece is achieved slowly and steadily, through the patient and dex-trous work of deft fingers. Once the strips are all in place, smooth marine stones – sourced worlds away and highly prized in the community – are used to gently work over the layers and remove the divides. The use of these stones results in the unique and alluring finish that distinguishes these pieces, a marker of the process carried with the piece through the flames of the open fire.
Blanca del Carmen Albornoz is a lively lady of fifty. Her home is perpetually shrouded in dust and requiring an endless list of chores, and her husband can usually be found tinkering deep under the hood of their truck. Her skilled hands produce exquisite specimens on a daily basis – a priceless practice that is so embedded in her life that the true value is not evident to her.
THIS ITEM IS NOT ELEGIBLE FOR RETURN.
H23cm x W23cm
Blanca del Carmen Albornoz
H30.5cm x W30.5cm x L30.5cm