Photos by Glen Jumayao
Move over, Hinoba-an. Pottery makers are making a name in Leganes, Iloilo.
Ma. Geanette and German Namayan of Leganes had been pottery dealers for three years already when they decided to make their own products, thus the birth of Shine's Pottery and Designs.
Ms. Namayan said that although it would take one year before the business profits, their income is enough to sustain their operations. They are able to provide employment for nine personnel.
It is also enough to care for their family's needs. (The couple has three children â€“ Shine, with whom the business was named after; Cedie and Venice).
One special product that Shine's Pottery and Designs is proud of is their yellow green-colored "pugon" or charcoal cooker. In fact, it was the "pugon's" color that caught the attention of this writer, prompting her to approach Ms. Namayan.
"You can save on charcoal from this 'pugon' by 30 to 50 percent. Our 'sarag', this circular clay with holes where you put your charcoal on, can last for two years. A regular 'sarag' made of 'kabilya' lasts only three months," she said.
"We use latex paint for the stove's green color and it's not flammable," she added.
Their other products are double burner cookers, coin banks, pots and jars of different sizes and designs.
Their factory is located at Brgy. Lapayon, a 15-minute trip onboard a tricycle from the town proper. There, the couple showed us how they make their products.
First, they filtered sand and rid it of unnecessary particles.
Then, sand was mixed with clay through an electric mixer. The process was done five times to ensure thorough mixing. This mixture was stored and covered in order for it to dry.
Once dry, the sand-clay mixture was kneaded (like dough making). It was flattened and attached to the mouth of the potter's wheel. The wheel comprises of a big jar and a rotating contraption underneath it. The potter used his legs to operate the wheel and as the big jar turned, his adept hands shaped the clay attached to it. Sometimes, he paused to get water and then applied it on the clay. The water softens the clay so that it would be easy for the potter to shape it.
Curing period of eight days is needed. Pots for curing are covered to protect them from the elements. If there's too much heat, they crack. If there's too much rain, they melt.
After curing comes "hibo-an" wherein the jars are coated with red clay. "This results to that beautiful almost red-orange color after it's cooked," said Mr. Namayan.
He added that "hibo-an" originated from Hibao-an, the village famous for their pottery.
After "hibo-an", the pots are exposed to open air. After that, they're ready for cooking.
The cooking process is called "pagba" and the area where the pots are cooked is called "pagbahan". They make use of the traditional way of cooking, which is the open fire way.
"We put 'labhang'. This turns into fuel and it provides heat for the pots which are stacked on top," Mr. Namayan said. "The pots are covered with 'dagami' or dried rice stalks. "
Mr. Namayan said that cooking the pots makes them more durable; but if overcooked, they melt and stick together. "So, the ideal cooking time is four to five hours at the most," he said.
The couple is now saving for a huge oven that will cook the pots faster. But for now, they have to rely on the traditional method. Although it requires more work compared to the modern method, the couple is happy because Shine's Pottery and Designs' products enjoy patronage in Iloilo City, the towns of Leganes, Zarraga and Barotac Nievo, Bacolod City and Kidapawan City.
Shine's Pottery and Designs can be reached through numbers 0910.2673.704 and 0919.7183.497.
HOPE FOR THE DEAF
On May 2, Kayang-Kayang Missions International, Inc., in collaboration with the Central Philippine University-Knowledge Development Center, the Deaf Association of Iloilo (DAI), Friends of the DEAF, ALDHEARS (Association of Late Deaf, Hard of Hearing Deaf for Education, Advocacy, Research Support, Inc. and the CPU Sped summerians will host Tomihasa Shingaki in Iloilo City.
Shingaki, 47, from Nagoya, Japan is a deaf-mute. He is a former volunteer missionary who helped the deaf communities in 79 countries since 1991. He used to live in the Philippines and Vietnam, for seven years each. He is the Business Manager of the Handycraft World-Japan.
In an activity at the ADPI Center in Jaro Plaza, he will share his success story, encourage the deaf to engage in business, give tips on financial stability and to boost the morale of deaf professionals and find fulfilment in their chosen field. The convenors hope that after this, Shingaki could start a business in Iloilo City that will open employment for the deaf.*