Saturday, July 26, 2014

Beads of Clay

photo courtesy of Pastor Gaudencio Boko Jr.

Iloilo has a long affiliation with clay production. Ilonggos are incredibly adept at various utilitarian and decorative arts and, obviously, some are very talented with clay. In the towns of Pavia, Miagao, San Dionisio and San Miguel, clay work is part of their tradition for many of years. They make cooking pots, bricks, cornices and architectural ornaments that are principally used up to this day. Each is crafted by hand, one piece at a time, from native clay and then fired in back-yard kilns. The finish products are purchased directly from the artisan or group that made them. All pieces will vary slightly in color, shape and size.

Though clay bead making is not as popular as pot making, it can provide endless possibilities for homemade jewelry, gifts and decorations. In Estancia, Iloilo, Pastor Gaudencio Boko Jr. is known for his beautiful terra cotta bead creations.

photo courtesy of Pastor Gaudencio Boko Jr.

Started producing terra cotta beads in 1999, Pastor Boko was inspired by his artist friend whom he met in Palawan. His inclination for arts made him involved to producing clay loose beads where he individually fire handmade them in his backyard in Purok Villa Reyes. Terra cotta beads make great homemade jewelry, and would be awesome if made into bracelets and necklaces as gifts for friends and family.

photo courtesy of Pastor Gaudencio Boko Jr.
As a creative project, his terra cotta beads are truly unique. Some are round, tubular, shaped like river rocks, large or small and any size in between. It is individually costumed and made with meticulous placement, some with many detailed bits and pieces. Some are baked in several different stages and then compiled into one beautiful bead.

Pastor Boko mentioned that making terra cotta beads at home is a simple activity that requires clay and a few other household items and that making clay beads at home is a simple activity that requires clay and a few other household items. The beauty of terra cotta is that it is all natural. One may say it matches your skin.

Terra cotta comes from an Italian word, terra meaning earth and cotta meaning baked. It is a highly-durable and weather-resistant clay that is shaped and baked for a specific use. It also refers to its red-orange hue. The clay is baked in a special oven called a kiln at very high temperatures for many hours. This allows the water that was previously soaking the clay to dry out.

His terra cotta clay beads and pendants are surprisingly light in weight. The kiln firing removes all the water from the clay, the water being the heavy element of the clay. Yet they are sturdy and tough enough that you do not have to worry about them breaking when you are wearing them.
Married to Rizzel Geronimo of Estancia, Iloilo and blessed with two kids, the artist is permanently residing in Estancia where he continuously develops his passion for art. He was inspired by arts and crafts and often thinks about what things he can put beads on, or what pieces of art he can translate into jewelry. Aside from being an artist, Pastor Boko is also is deeply involved with Share an Opportunity, an International Christian founded child focused NGO where he is the Holistic Development Facilitator.
For more information, you may get in touch with him thru his mobile number at 09199647509 or email at gsamanbukojr@gmail.com.

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