Episode XC – 90 – Material earth, native clay

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Imagine tracing cultural and social transformation through works of clay. Connecting us with our origins through its main element, the earth, who has the millennial age of the planet and gives it its name.

Working with clay is a passion and profession taught from generation to generation that releases a feeling through which cultures and artisans expressed themselves. If we allow children to interact with the clay, we promote their creativity and development, since when modeling creations with their own hands, they develop sensory perception.

The act of shaping the mixture is almost instinctive and comes naturally. It is an impulse that helps develop fine motor skills and leads us to discover how a little flexible material can take the shape that our ingenuity dictates. That naturalness of molding dates back forever because the clay bowl is like the brother of the stone ax, both being the first utensils that humanity introduced to its daily life during the Neolithic period.

There is a great legacy of ancient cities, monuments, ceremonial, musical, funerary and home-use objects made in clay, which protected a great part of the customs and worldview of our ancestors.

There is a current trend in which many people are now reconnecting with ancestral trades such as pottery, weaving, cooking, etc. because through them they achieve a relaxing moment. The dedication and concentration that manual work requires helps organize ideas and even clarify thoughts and feelings. In the case of working with clay, it is valuable to discover creativity, decide what to do as well as use the clay to mold emotions of fear or anger.

Human beings are molded and written on like clay tablets looking all the same however none are equal to each other. Manual work (weaving, wood carving, embroidery, pottery) gives us the opportunity to spend time intensely concentrating on what we forge with our hands. At Etnia Nativa. we think that trades should be considered active meditations par excellence. Working with clay we interact with four elements: earth, wind, fire and water. The earth gives us its matter that the water molds and the air purifies it to deliver it to the fire that crystallizes it in to ceramic.

Clay works reflect our energy. Every shape and detail printed on what we create says something about who we are. Working with clay is a work of self-knowledge where creativity arises through emotion and fluency. Etnia Nativa treats raw clay in the native traditional way. We identify the best material by hunting for raw clay. For this we distinguish high quality clay from the rest of the earth. Then adding water we purify the material thus contributing to the cleaning process. During this stage the clay is purified and detoxified, dehydrating and thus we begin to mold our forms.

Having on hand tools necessary for working with clay such as wooden sticks, cutters, brushes are useful to achieve attractive results, without forgetting the ceramic lathe.

To get grounded and really experience islands origins and its cultural history, we believe Etnia Nativa stands alone by carrying all under one roof, educating the curious and entertaining the adventurous traveler. Mail us at etnianativa03@gmail.com and confirm your participation. Our facilities and activities take place close to high rise hotels.