10a Alabama Summer Arts & Crafts Fair

A year ago, I joined an arts and crafts fair in Manila. Read more about it on https://transformingclay.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/old-is-new/ This year, I decided to join again.

Crafters from around the tropical country, decide to bring their creations to an old house that is converted to a handmade haven, for people like me without a store, and shoppers who are looking for something unique.

It’s always good to join these fairs and meet people who are interested in what we create. People who know how hard we work for our passion: painting, jewelry, handmade dolls, perfume, ceramics, leather journals, upcycled furniture, etc.

The weather is terrible this summer, but it doesn’t stop us from packing our works, pricing them, and bringing them all to 10a Alabama. I left my apartment with my black trunk, my wooden stand by Resurrection, some photographs that I’ve printed, bayongs, white table and yellow chair. I am ready to meet people and hang out with other passionate artists and crafters.

Once we find our spot, we set up our table, chat with the other crafters, etc. What do we love the most? Finding items that you will NEVER see in malls, meeting people who want to buy them, and knowing that they are simply amazed by what we make with our own hands : )

In the afternoon, when 10a Alabama was starting to get packed, two musicians set up their spot for their number. I love the whole vibe in the backyard. Furniture by Resurrection were placed on random locations. You can sit anywhere, sit on the swing if you want to. It’s very laid back. A very relaxed environment to be in on a Sunday afternoon.

Not being able to shop in the mall (except for tiangges/flea markets that I love, love, love), going to an arts and crafts fair, will surely  make me spend some cash on works that are worth keeping. I am very happy to find some pieces that I’d love to call my own: suede journal, hand-stitched jute-sack-bags, crochet-covered stone, and bicycle magnets.  I made sure that I didn’t leave empty handed with some works made by my fellow crafters.

Thank You, Leah Sanchez and Arlene Barbaza, for making my wooden stand. A lot of people liked it during the fair! I think I’m going to have more made! To those who want to get their hands dirty with clay, see you at Clay Ave Pottery Studio soon! To my students, Paula and Sophie, thanks for coming all the way from Makati. My friend, Clark, thanks for carrying my stuff and driving me home!

Now these hands can’t wait to get all dirty again with clay, to create more works, for those who want to call my creations their own : )

Pots of Gold

Passion entails a lot of hard work. Through the years of making pottery, blessings come effortlessly. It’s been twelve years since I started learning this traditional craft. I have yet to learn countless techniques, ideas, knowledge, and experience failure and success. I take each challenge with perseverance and hope. And I receive them all as gifts, that would help me, grow as an artist.

I always tell friends, relatives, and acquaintances, when we work hard – people will see and people will discover us. Of course we have to do our part and let them know that we exist, doing what we do. But doing something is different from being passionate.

I do what I do, making pots, because of many reasons. One of which, is this big responsibility (which I love), to use a skill that was given to me so freely. Making pots is my number one passion. Second is teaching how to make them.

I am getting e-mails from different magazines in Manila, and asking if I have photos that I could send them. I ask them, what they are going to use it for, and they say it’s for a small feature about Ceramics in their magazine. Excited (and always am), I send my pictures as soon as possible.

Dwell Asia magazine (March/April issue), features “Pots of Gold: We’ve picked out nine outstanding individual pieces by pottery artists from around the region.” One of the nine works are my handmade bowls. I created each one, not just with passion, but with a lot of emotions, which I intend to apply to each of them.

Unique Ceramics from around the world are highly influenced by what we see and feel. In each country in Asia, Potters have ideas on how to apply their “signature” on the pots. A lot are continuously working with traditional influences, and countless potters are now creating modern Ceramics.

 I am a big fan of modern ceramics. I have seen a lot of very interesting pieces online, magazines, and past trips. I am looking forward to discovering more on my future trips in Manila and abroad. I admire how a simple piece can look absolutely stunning on its own, or with a whole set. It takes a lot of courage to create something that doesn’t appear too planned out. I myself, like my works that I haven’t thought of too much. I simply go with the flow and listen to my clay instincts, and directly create how it wants to be formed. While others, in fact a lot of Potters, plan their work with a big amount of time.

Dwell Asia, Thank You for believing in my work!

The summer season means one thing in my vocabulary: Teaching. I am spending most of my time teaching, and I am looking forward to creating more unique ceramics in the months to come. If a lot of people are waiting to see my collection, I am being patient for my own works too : ) And to those who are very supportive with what I do, and are as passionate as I am with Ceramics, Thank You, for never failing to encourage me to keep doing what I love doing the most: Transforming clay.