Ceramics program

Learn directly from the artisans of the Chazutino and Kechwa Lamista culture

Basic History

Traditional pottery in the region is based on the known and widespread technique of rolls of clay, which are overlapped and smoothed to shape dishes for different purposes.

The traditional potteries combine masterfully three basic colors: white, black and red. This combination is the result of a long process of cultural exchange from the Pre-Hispanic times.

The clay used as a base comes from quarries in the area. It is kneaded intensively with the feet, especially with the heels, until the shaño, made with fragments of burnt and ground dishes, is added to prevent cracking during the firing process. 

The traditional oven is open, with stacked firewood used as a fuel. This is an almost universal technique in the Amazon - called shuntu.  To finish, two products are applied immediately after burning: the copal resin and the “lacre”, a natural lacquer. The first makes the inside of the dish impermeable and the second gives brightness to the outside and protects the paint. 



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Chazutino Artisans


Chazuta is a district of San Martin province located around a two hour drive from the art center.   Chazuta a Quechua word derives from the ethnic group that settled in the left bank of the Huallaga River during the XV to XVIII centuries, from its origins till the present day the Chazuta people speak Quechua.  The ceramics have always played a vital role in the community, making Chazutinos famous for being bona fide potters.  

There is a great workspace in Chazuta where a group of elderly women will guide you through various traditional shapes and can speak about the spiritual significance of the symbols used.  There is a kiln and ceramics wheel which is manually powered by foot at this work space.


Mueseo Isitui - a small museum showcasing pre-Inca funerary urns.

Centro Cultural Joicy V Bartra– museum of the wooden carved sculptures of Joice V Bartra and a coffee shop.

joyce v barter cultural center

Centro Cultural Joicy v Bartra

Mueseo Isitui

Mueseo Isitui

2 Day trip Chazuta: courses in traditional ceramics, visit local museums, chocolate, and papermaking artisanal workshops, walk to the sulfur springs of Chazutayacu and overnight stay in  'El Duende Ecolodge.'

 Day 1

  • Arrive in Chazuta, welcoming drink

  • Wasichay Studio - Traditional course in ceramics learn how to make a basic bowl shape

  • 20-minute walk to El Duende Ecolodge' - lunch

  • 1-hour walk to the sulfur springs of Chazutayacu

  • Overnight stay at 'El Duende Ecolodge'

Day 2

  • After breakfast 

  • Visit an artisanal ecological paper workshop, using the pulp of bananas, coconut trees etc.

  • ceramics course

  • Lunch, traditional and regional food - learn about organic artisan chocolate

  • Finish your ceramics class. You can have a go at making a pot on a pedal-operated pottery wheel


Energetic chocolate making course

ecological paper making

Paper making demonstration

Kechwa Lamista artisans

With 22,513 people the Kechwa Lamista population is of demographic importance representing 9.39% of the indigenous population of Peru.  The Quechua-Lamista territory spreads over 5’492.5 hectares and is part of a large conservation area ‘Cordillera Escalera.’

We will journey by car from the Sachaqa Art Center for about one hour to the indigenous town of Wayku.   Here we will visit the home of ceramicist Gemina.   Her home is a heaven for ceramics lovers; there are broken pots pilled in the corner ready to make shanu powder to mix into the clay.  There are bedsheets hanging with fresh clay drying inside instead of a bed.  Piles of clay everywhere which makes you feel hungry to start building a great pot. The clay oven she has built herself can be used to fire big pots.  Which she builds using the rolls of cay technique.   It is really special to be welcomed into her home and spend time with a community that lives so close to ancient customs and traditions.

We can get creative and fire our work in her kiln when we return after our pots have dried.


If you would like to fire your work on a shuntu open fire we can hire local artisan Petrona who lives close to the art center.  She can bring special firewood to the studio and traditionally fire your work.

You can only use the clay mixed with shaño ( already fired pots ground into a powder.)

  • Trip to the native community of Wayku in Lamas.

  • Workshop in Ceramics - first you will learn how to knead mixing the Shaño – chose your ceramic shape – paint your pots.

  • We provide 2kl of clay so when we fire the pots 7 days later you can fire some of your own experiments.

  • Return five days later to fire your work - you can also fire your own creative work.

antient ceramics

Experiment firing your work on a shuntu fire -  fast process at15 minutes


Clay kiln for firing larger pots 


Basic Residency price Special price 2022 $300 $560 American Dollars. Two weeks: $170 $280 American Dollars.

Basic Residency plus Ceramics Program price;

Ceramics program 950 soles $255 plus basic residency 

Ceramics Program activities Include; During a trip to Chazuta (teachers, transport, hotel, guide, team leader. translator, food - during Chazuta activities only, materials.) Trip to Lamas ( transport, food, course and fire your work in a large kiln.) 2kl clay.

ceramics program