Pottery Class: Unique Experience in Tiwi, Albay

I recently had the pleasure of taking a pottery class while I was travelling in Bicol. From learning about the type of clay to making my own masterpiece, this was a unique experience that I cannot recommend enough. Let me give you a glimpse into the pottery class in PhilCeramics and what you can expect if you decide to go on one yourself.

Photo by Ferdz Decena of Ironwulf

Pottery Class in Philippine Ceramic Arts and Crafts Center (PhilCeramics)

Philippines Ceramics Arts and Craft Center (PhilCeramics) is a production center of terracotta products, which has been funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) since 1994. Located in Barangay Putsan, Tiwi, a coastal municipality in the province of Albay, PhilCeramics was established to provide sustainable livelihood for the locals through pottery.

Photo by Marky Ramone Go of Nomadic Experiences

According to Britannica, “Terra-cotta is any kind of fired clay but, in general usage, a kind of object (e.g., vessel, figure, or structural form) made from fairly coarse, porous clay that when fired assumes a color ranging from dull ochre to red and usually is left unglazed.”

Photo by Marky Ramone Go of Nomadic Experiences

Pottery Class: Introduction from the Instructor

The class started with a brief introduction from the instructor who gave us an overview of the tools. He also introduced us to other potters who were all very welcoming and eager to guide us. It was obvious they were very passionate about pottery. After that, it was time for us to get started with our projects. 

Photo by Ferdz Decena of Ironwulf

Pottery Class: The Process

After the introduction, we were given our own wheel. We started off by kneading clay into shape before throwing it onto a wheel to begin forming. My instructor taught me how to properly center my clay before spinning. Once I got the hang of it, he taught me some basic techniques on how to form my clay.

shape of the clay will follow your hands

After several rounds of shaping and smoothing, I was finally done with my creation! I was amazed at how my piece turned out. I didn’t thought about what I will create before the trip. So, my impromptu masterpiece was a small vase, which definitely wasn’t perfect but it was still quite impressive (at least in my eyes!). 

Pottery Class: Our Creations

As soon as I finished shaping my creation, I couldn’t help but smile in pride at what I had made! It was such an amazing feeling knowing that something so beautiful had come from my own hands.

Due to time constraints, we didn’t wait for our creations to get cooked in the kiln (this takes several hours). We could have taken them without this process but we were told that the clay will melt if it gets contact with any liquid. So, we decided to leave our creations and have the potters cook it in the kiln and ship to our address once done.

Overall Experience

Overall, it was such an incredible experience attending this pottery class in Tiwi, Albay. It not only gave me something unique to do but also sparked a new-found appreciation for this timeless art form! If you’re looking for other things to do when visiting Bicol, then do yourself a favor and go to PhilCeramics for a pottery class. Not only will you learn some useful skills, but you’ll also get an intimate look into the local culture in ways that no tour ever could provide. Plus, your finished product makes for an amazing souvenir from your travels! 

Our quirky creations

It will take a few weeks to get your masterpiece if you choose to fire it with their kiln. Once it is finished, they will arrange delivery to you. Shipping fees depend on the overall weight of the package and where you want to have it shipped. I’m not sure how much our shipping costs because it was shouldered by our travel companion.

Some of the local creations at PhilCeramics

If you’re interested to take a pottery class at PhiCeramics, you may get in touch with Shemron Corino at (+63)927-686-2678.

PhilCeramics is about an hour away from Legazpi City, Albay.

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