Visiting The Masters Of Philippine Pottery: “Clay Ave Goes To Pansol, Laguna!” (Part 2 of 8)

November 24th, 2012 finally comes and we are all set for our pottery field trip to Pansol, Laguna. At 4:00 AM, I was already awake. Our meeting time is at 7:30AM. Excited, you might think? The Masters of Philippine Pottery just unloaded their Anagama (wood firing) kiln in the same week. How can I not be excited to see their new works! I have told Jon ahead of time that we are arriving at 10:00AM.

Everyone arrived right on time in our two meeting spots. First is at the Petron gasoline station along C5 at 7:30AM for students who live in Pasig City, The Fort, Greenhills, and Quezon City. Next stop is at another station along SLEX, at 8:00AM to meet the students from Alabang and Bicutan. The trip was nice and fast. At exactly 8:30AM, we arrived very early at the home of The Pettyjohns. Jon and Tessy, look tired from all the hard work of firing an Anagama kiln, which they fired for almost three days. They still manage to greet us with a welcoming smile.

The guest house, which is the first house from the main gate, holds their showroom. I can hear the students rushing to the gallery to see the works of the Masters. One walks slowly, as if she still couldn’t believe that she is actually inside The Pettyjohn’s home, and some were walking fast, hoping in my mind that they will not break anything! I’m just kidding. My students know how to walk carefully around fragile pots. They have mastered it in Clay Ave with its approximate size of thirty square meters : )

I encourage my students to hold the pots: “Hold the bowls between your hands. Rest your fingers around the handles on mugs and teapots, feel the texture of each pot and let its roughness tickle you.” I can go on with erotic ways on how to caress fired pottery or raw clay, but let me save that one for another post next time.

The dining table and chairs look very inviting for guests to come close and be seated. We are able to spend a good couple of minutes getting to know the Masters, Jon and Tessy. Jon’s best friend, Ulap, the sweetest Great Dane, makes sure that he doesn’t miss out on our conversation. (Photo by Victor Guerrero)

Ulap comes close and tries to lick my face. As soon as he stuck his long tongue out, I laughed and said jokingly, “Oh Ulap! You ha! I’ve not been kissed for a long time now!” Everyone laughed.

One will not miss the beauty of handmade mugs and cups on a dining table. The glaze, Jon and Tessy use on their pots, complements any color of wood. From light to dark hues, their pottery stands out.

After drinking our water and coffee, Jon leads the way to see the rest of the property that holds all of these: The workshop area, Anagama kiln, Gas kiln, and their home.

Our excitement grew even stronger. Once you have gotten your hands dirty with clay, seeing other Potters’ works, can either drive one sane or insane. You choose. No one is stopping you.

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