Nicaragua post 2: The resist and smoke decorations of the Ducuale Grande pottery co-operative near Condega. The women use chicken feathers to apply a resist design of clay mixed with ashes on already-fired pieces. The pots are carefully placed back in the kiln and smoked for a few minutes. The clay/ash mix is then washed off, exposing, beneath the slip,  red clay that hasn’t been exposed to the fire.

Once-fired pots waiting to be decorated
Once-fired pots waiting to be decorated
Using a feather to apply a resist of clay mixed with ashes
Using a feather to apply a resist of clay mixed with ashes
Decorated pieces before they're fired
Decorated pieces before they’re fired
Smoking in the kiln
Smoking in the kiln. The kiln is open on two sides. Pots can be taken in and out from either side.
This is how the kiln is unloaded
This is how the kiln is unloaded
After this firing, the resist (ash+clay) is washed off. The resist part stays red; the rest turns darker from exposure to smoke.
After this firing, the resist (ash+clay) is washed off. The resist part stays red; the rest turns darker from exposure to smoke.
Hearty soup with lots of vegetables is a typical (and delicious) Nicaraguan meal. The pots are very low fired, but can hold liquids because they’re burnished. It’s almost worth a trip to Nicaragua to eat a meal like this. . . home cooked food in home cooked pottery.
Hearty soup with lots of vegetables is a typical (and delicious) Nicaraguan meal. The pots are very low fired, but can hold liquids because they’re burnished. It’s almost worth a trip to Nicaragua to eat a meal like this. . . home cooked food in home cooked pottery.