Aquilino the traditional potter in Lanzarote

We met another character from the village of Haría recently, thanks to Elvia and her students from Co Co Lingua Language Travel Lanzarote.

This language school doesn’t just focus on lessons in the classroom, they have regular events taking the students out and about the island of Lanzarote. On this particular Friday we were invited to join them for a visit to Aquilino’s ceramic studio in Haría.

Aquilino Antonio Rodríguez Santana is a ceramista, using materials and methods from the X century B.C. His ceramic studio is situated in the Taller de Artesanía Municipal, a lovely building in the centre of the village, which offers workshop space & shops to artisan craft workers and is open to the public for visiting.

The group was warmly welcomed into Aquilino’s workshop and the potter made a great teacher delighting us with his animated explanation of the history behind this method of pottery.

Aquilino explained that he collects two kinds of local stone from the series 1 volcanic eruptions, this is when the Risco de Famara was formed. The volcanic and white chalky stone is soaked in water to soften and then mixed with volcanic sand from the Timanfaya eruption (series 3) before it is kneaded using his hands and feet to create a smooth and pliable paste.

To make a ceramic bowl, the base is created by shaping the lump of clay into a circle with a lip around the edge, next a churro is created which is a baton of clay and used to form the sides of the bowl until the desired depth is reached. At this point when we were admiring his creation, Aquilino ripped the sides of the bowl apart exclaiming “no está roto”, it’s not broken, unlike when using a potters wheel with clay, this mixture is very workable and in a moment the sides were repaired.

Our demonstration was over, but if you watch the video which has an English commentary you will see the finishing touches and process of firing the ceramics.

The visit was fascinating, do stop and say hello to Aquilino if you’re visiting Haría, the craft workshops can be found close to Bar Neya in the centre of the village, pass the Ayuntamiento and library building and continue on the same road for a minute until you see the small pedestrian bridge over the Barranco de Tenesia.

It was really nice to meet this group of students from Co Co Lingua Language Travel Lanzarote, they certainly get to meet some interesting people and discover different places during their events.

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