Friday, June 28, 2013

Guam Chamorro Pottery - Latte Period Red Clay Plain Pottery

Reproductions of Latte Period Red Clay plain pottery from Guam.

On GUAM, an island so rich in culture and history I am ofttimes left wondering where are all of the Chamorro craftsmen/women. Don't get me wrong, there are many fine Chamorro artists creating beautiful work but to date I have not found anyone making historical reproductions of pottery, no intricate weaving and no slinging.

So, in the absence of anyone to work with or learn from I have been teaching myself. These are my two newest redclay pots. These pots are examples of Latte-period plain pottery. The oval pot was formed on a pandanus leaf mat that I wove and has left its impression on the bottom of the pot. From what I have read, this is a common feature of Marianas pottery. With no turn tables like modern potters have to form clay vessels, pots were crafted and formed by hand. I discovered that forming the pot on a small mat of pandanus leaf helped in my being able work and turn the clay to form the oval pot.

The acorn-shaped pot is primarily used for cooking. The mouth is turned slightly inward to help keep in the heat. This style of pot was placed into the coals of a fire where its cone shape allowed the heat from the fire to evenly cook the contents of the pot. The "combed" texture on this pot is a common functional decoration. It is theorized that the slightly grooved texture made a non-slip surface on the pot.

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