This week we are taking you behind the scenes to see how Azulina’s ceramic dinnerware is made.
Our hand-painted dinnerware is made in a small family-owned factory in the town of Carmen de Viboral, where a ceramic-making tradition has been alive for over 100 years.
The process starts with clay. The clay we use is sourced from a region just south of Medellín called Caldas. Both wet and dry clays are used, depending on the particular piece we are making. Our mini spoons, for example, are made using wet clay. All our plates and bowls are made using dry clay. In the image above you can see the molds that form our plates, platters and bowls.
Once the molds have dried the pieces are cleaned up, evened out and taken to the oven for their first bake. Our pieces are cooked overnight at 1220° Celsius (2228° Fahrenheit). Azulina’s ceramics are hardy enough to maintain their shape, form and strength due to the high temperature at which the pieces are cooked. For this very reason all of Azulina’s pieces are freezer, oven, dishwasher and microwave safe.
The next step is painting. This is my favorite part. The women artisans hand paint every single Azulina piece free-hand. No computers, no stencils, just talent.
Once the pieces have been painted they are dipped in glaze and sent back to the oven overnight for their second quema (bake). This bake is at a slightly lower temperature, 1180° Celsius (2156° Fahrenheit).
After the second quema has completed the oven doors are opened very slowly over a series of 2-3 hours and then the pieces are carefully removed, brushed clean and classified by quality control. And voila, you have a completed piece of hand-painted ceramic dinnerware!
If you would like to see more photos from the factory scroll down.
Con Mucho Amor,
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All of the photos in today's post were taken by famed Houston fashion photographer Jay Marroquin.