The Black pottery is made in a little town called La Chamba which is located in the department of Tolima in Colombia. About 90% of the inhabitants (around 300 families) live off the production of the black pottery.
The village is situated at the border of the Magdalena River and it is there where the mines are, from which they extract the clay. There are two types of clay that they mix together to create a stronger type of clay that won’t break during the burning process.
After the clay is mixed, they start to create the shapes by hand before putting them to dry in the sun. They work only with materials that nature has to offer and during the process of drying the products, they also depend on the circumstances of nature. La Chamba is very warm and sunny and temperatures can reach up to 40 °C. But when it starts raining the products won’t be able to dry and that means that there will certainly be delays in the delivery of the container.
But when the conditions are good and the products are dry, they place them in metal drums together with organic material such as branches and leaves and are then put in ovens with temperatures reaching 800°C.
The smoke that is generated during the burning process penetrates into the product and is what gives it its black color.
There’s no layer of glaze and no other paint used, it’s a 100% natural process and it’s what makes this product so unique!