Barbados Culture: Earthworks Pottery

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Now I never knew how a mold was used to form a vase. I understood that you poured the liquid clay into the mold that was shaped in the form you wanted. But I never knew about the center. I thought perhaps another mold was inserted. But how would they get it in if the top was narrow and the center wide. It just could not go through the opening. Maybe the mold was already preformed with a hollow.

It just did not occur to me that the liquid would evaporate and get absorbed by the wooden mold from the outside in. That leaves the center in a liquid form while the outside hardens. You simply pour the liquid out, leaving the hard shell of the vase. The mold is in two halves held together by a rubber band. When the mold is opened the vase is ready for drying and processing.

Molding Beautifully is in its simplicity.

Now the kilns I have seen are big, pot bellied furnaces in which you stake your masterpieces. Now the modern way is to put the artwork out on a shelving system and simply roll the furnace over it. The factory floor is built like a miniature railway so that kilns can roll over the tables and shelves – you just open the doors and push it over.

Firing Beautifully is simple.

I thought that all those pretty colors on the vase or plate were the paint. How wrong I was. It’s the cobalt or clay reaction with the paint and the glaze that brings out the brilliant, vibrant colors that we see.

The finished works of art!

The finished works of art!

Earthworks Pottery in Barbados is a state-of-the-art, modern pottery that produces exceptional pieces of art; all made from earth and clay.

There are secrets to how it mixes liquid clay and the exact kind of material used in its paints. That gives the fine colors. But most of the work is straight forward and the artists and people at the studio are happy to talk to guests and enjoy explaining what they can.

I was glad to say I was not the only one who knew little about pottery. Most of us were in the same boat and all enjoyed the visit.

The video covers the visit, molds, artwork, painting, glazing and firing.

History of Earthworks

Earthworks was. established in 1983 by Goldie Spieler. Earthworks is now run by her son David, along with the Earthworks staff of 24 persons.

The red clay ceramic pieces are the result of the clay being fired to stoneware temperatures that result in a hard ceramic finish. The finished pottery is ideal for the home or restaurant. The studio creates a decorative and very functional line of tableware in round, square, rectangular and oval. From 20″ platters to plates to tiny coasters; bowls in all shapes and sizes. Also in matching colors and patterns are vases, lamps, desk and bathroom accessories.

Earthworks also does custom orders such as house names or house-numbers, a bathroom sinks, splash tiles, accents or floor tiles, commemorative dinner sets, wedding presents and anything you can imagine.

Everything is hand-finished and hand-decorated with underglaze colors. In this process it is the glazing, firing and interaction of cobalt heat and glaze that makes the colors what they are.

All art is lead-free and food safe. Everything is dishwasher and microwave safe.

The work area of the pottery can be toured during working hours. Visitors can watch us work and stop to chat.

Open Mon-Fri 9-5, Sat 9-1. Closed Sundays and public holidays.

Visit Earthworks

Visit Earthworks Pottery online at http://www.earthworks-pottery.com

Contact Earthworks

David Spieler
Earthworks Pottery
#2, Edgehill Heights St. Thomas
BARBADOS, WEST INDIES
Tel: (246) 425-0223
Fax: (246) 425-3224
E-mail: eworks@caribsurf.com

Videos By RealHolidays.TV

Information provided by
Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia
http://Barbados.org/culture

PO BOX 16B Baslen House
Kingston Terrace
St. Michael, Barbados
246 429 2653

 

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