"Mud Jewels" - Ceramics of Chulucanas, Peru

   When photographing my work I love to use objects or pictures from Peru since Peru has always been a great source of inspiration for me. I decided to photograph my latest bracelet design displayed on a ceramic bird from Chulucanas. This is a very small town on the northern coast of Peru that produces a very distinctive style of pottery.

Not only is their style of decorating and firing ceramics unique but so is the story of its origin. In the 1960's archeologists found a tomb of a Vicus nobleman dating from around 400 B.C. containing extraordinary ceramics. Local artisans, descendants of the Vicus and ceramicists by tradition, were fascinated by this pottery. They were determined to learn this technique and to continue the legacy of their ancestors.
 Through much trial and error they were able to master the reverse or negative painting or blackening technique used by the Vicus artisans.There are now over 250 registered artisans in Chulucanas and their ceramic work is not only the finest in Peru but it is also receiving international recognition.

In 1992 Chulucanas pottery was chosen by several European nations to represent the art of the New World at the 500th year celebration of the Discovery of the Americas. 

Now this unique pottery can easily be found on many venues specializing in world artisans. I believe the world wide popularity and appreciation for the work of Chulucanas has far exceeded any expectations. In their indigenous dialect the artisans of Chulucanas refer to their work as "Mud Jewels" and rightfully so.      ~ These photos are of pieces from my own Chulucanas collection. The two women are actually small ceramics, the one on the left is 5 7/8" tall and the one on the right 2 3/4".

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