Last week I had the honor of visiting ACTA de Honduras, a non-profit in Tegucigalpa, Honduras doing economic development among indigenous Lencan people. I’ve been carrying ACTA’s jewelry at Bambootique since the company’s inception over two years ago but had not yet met the artisans themselves. The visit was inspiring plus I came home with a suitcase full of beautiful new designs. Today I’ll introduce you to the bead artisans, next time to the designer and the jewelry maker.
Meet Delia. She’s a single mother of two young children. Trying to raise two children alone in rural Honduras is a bleak outlook for many women. For Delia though, it’s a task to which she has risen. She earns enough through her involvement with the ceramics cooperative for her children to attend school, which means hope for their futures.
The workshop in the small village of El Porvenir, Honduras is cooperatively owned by six ceramic artisans, all women and all single mothers. It’s humble but it’s theirs.
The women make ceramic plates, bowls, vases and beads. They use techniques handed down to them from generations. For many of their pieces they use different varieties of clay and an open fire, rather than paint, to create beautiful colors and designs.
The pieces are first formed by hand, then dried for days in the sun. Once dried by the sun, the pieces are fired in one of two wood-burning kilns.
The pieces are finished over a scorching hot fire, which blackens the pottery or adds color, depending on the type of clay used.
Finished beads. The blue/ green colors are glaze, the reds, blacks and whites are formed through an incredible combination of various clays and heat.
Next time…meet Aurora, who turns these beads into bold fashion-forward jewelry.