Every now and again I like to open our doors and show you what Azulina looks like behind the scenes, to introduce you to the artisans who hand-paint our products and to let you get a feel for what is really involved in the whole creation process.
With that, we are continuing our Artisan Spotlight series we started several months back and introducing you to Maria Flor Quintero (better known around these parts as Doña Flor).
She is the genius behind one of our most popular patterns, Amapola, which she designed just before we launched in 2012. Over the weekend she was working on our newest edition to the Azulina collection, the serving pitcher, so today's blog is also a sneak peek for what's to come!
The Amapola Serving Pitcher is only available in select stores but you may pre-order the pitcher by visiting our online store. It will be available starting in April and in our Lima and Clásico patterns.
Now, let's get to Doña Flor...
How long have you worked in the ceramics industry here in El Carmen?
How about here in this factory where we make Azulina?
Do you have family that works in the ceramics industry in El Carmen?
Yes, sisters and nieces. (Her sister Graciela was our first Artisan Spotlight!)
What is your favorite pattern?
If someone were to gift me a dinnerware set I would like for it to be in Amapola. I would like to mix it with solid pieces in orange, red and white.
What dreams do you have for El Carmen and the ceramics industry here?
I think it is really important that the products of El Carmen become better known abroad. I would like for El Carmen to create more employment opportunities for mothers who are heads of household, like it was before. It used to be that one ceramics factory alone, El Continental, employed around 2,000 people.
For a bit of background, there are just a few remaining factories in El Carmen de Viboral that continue to create hand-painted ceramics in the "El Carmen" tradition. I would estimate that now less than 100 people are directly employed by the industry today. More on the history here.
It is our hope at Azulina that we can play a big role in re-igniting the ceramics industry here by bringing global attention to a beautiful art form that is hand made in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. That is what I work toward every single day.
Until next week,
Founder, Azulina Ceramics