The Making of a Potter
An artist coming from Iloilo’s pottery capital, Hibao-an, is Reyland Harder, a person of inspiring expertise and overwhelming passion. This 29-year-old potter took years to perfect his profession. Nonoy, as he is called, makes pottery a work without sweat no matter how intense it may be.
It all started from his ancestors-lolos and lolas ahead of him. This is justified by his place of origin, Hibao-an Iloilo, which is remarkably rich in clay. A historical place which brought this person into an artist of skill and ability. His art was passed down to him as an inheritance or legacy. As a child, Nonoy saw how his parents and the elders of the family worked in the shop and molded pots. This is not easy though. A potter’s work requires extreme strength and precision. The artist told us that pottery isn’t that easy to achieve. Years of practice from childhood trained him to become the skilled artist that he is. Now, his family works for him offering excellent pottery thay could ever offer.
So we, Dominique and Shiela, went to the site where the pots widely used to contain our greens are being heated to perfection. The place had a big furnace-like thing where they would put the uncooked pots. Don’t expect a big factory with massive mixing bowls built-in. This artist does his work the most conventional or traditional of all ways. At the center was a potter’s wheel, characterized by a wooden table-like structure with a big wheel underneath, the wheel is being attached to the structure horizontally, and this wheel is being used to shape the pots. But of course, the finished products are exquisite. What made the works amazing was the skill that certainly be followed by a regular person. The products were made from manual labor-no machine assistance. Yet, as you look at what were displayed, you could see that the specifications, if not the same, were nearly uniform. It was unbelievable that the works of Nonoy were done by manual work alone.
The pots that are created at the workshop are very affordable and are usually supplied to hotels in Boracay and Manila, but most especially, they cater to local demands. The pots that they produce are being transferred from Hibao-an to the public markets of the City of Iloilo and many other towns surrounding it. The prices range from php 25 for the small pots and 500 for the massive ones. Considering the great effort and time put in just to make one pot, the price given to the product is already very reasonable. Thus, his art and the many other artists of the same passion and art constitute to a strongly recommended and highly appreciated and income generating expertise.