still life with white flowers,
crewelwork tapestry and
In an artisan's shop in Ollyantaytambo, we admire the collection of art. The pink and black wall hanging is a beautiful example of crewelwork, a type of free embroidery with wool yarn applied to wool cloth. The designs include abstract lines and a stylized condor with two Inkas in ceremonial dress on either side. The black and white vase is an exquisite example of the pottery made in Chulucanas, a pueblo on the north coast of Peru, by descendents of the Tallanes, pre-Columbian peoples. The pottery is created through a unique multi-step process. Several techniques are used in the forming. Then a base slip is applied and the piece is burnished three times with river stones. After drying, the piece is fired in a wood-fired kiln. Next, the piece is decorated in a reverse method in which slip is applied to the parts to be left intact. A resin is also applied to give the piece its characteristic brilliance. Several more firings in a smoke kiln with mango leaves darken the uncovered areas. Then the slip is removed and a final wax finish is applied. When completed, each item is signed by the artists who created it. Simple and stunning.