Gifts Today magazine

Headline event announced for Ceramics Festival

Filipino Professor to build unique ‘birthing kiln’ at International Ceramics Festival 2015, which takes place July 3-5 in Wales, UK

Professor Rita Gudiño, from the University of the Philippines’ College of Fine Arts (UP CFA), headlines this year’s much-anticipated International Ceramics Festival with her LUAL (birth) kiln building session and Sibol (clay) baby making workshop.

Participants in her exclusive workshop will be able to make clay babies in a one day workshop at Aberystwyth on 23rd June 2015 to be fired in the LUAL kiln during a dramatic performance firing event at the festival.

The LUAL, which is a raku kiln in the form of a birthing woman, Earth Mother and Birth Goddess will give birth to the clay figures fired within in Prof Gudiño’s art, which, she says, represents a metaphor of birthing.

Prof Gudiño, who has been a ceramicist for the last 15 years, said: “LUAL is a composite of the Filipino words luwal and luad. Luwal means to give birth, to come into being or being born. Luad is the Filipino term for clay. LUAL is made from sculptural raku clay (with paper pulp and coffee grounds) that fires from Cone 06 to Cone 05 (10150C to 10400C). It is shaped into a sculptural downdraft Raku kiln in the form of a birthing woman, and uses two-layer cast iron wok burners for pre-heating and drying; and firewood (pine wood or recycled crate/pallet materials) for bisque and glaze firing. 

The draft moves from a firebox constructed into the platform of the work, into an inlet flue, then upwards following the arch of the belly of the sculptural kiln then swirls back downward, firing the wares within. The draft exhausts through a chimney exit flue and out of the chimneystack or head and hair of the sculpture.”

Limited places on the £40-a-head workshop are in very high demand and Prof Gudiño, who also studied at The College of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines will invite the audience at the festival’s firing event to participate in the ritual by adding colour to the LUAL kiln with a mixture of saw dust, rock salt, and iodized salt, distributed in origami flower packets distributed to the audience to be thrown at the LUAL. 

The clay figures or Sibol are named after the Filipino word for natural or inherent being, or naturally indigenous. It also means sprouting and growth forms such as bud, rootstock or germinating seed and the SIBOL will therefore have both human and plant features.

Prof. Gudiño explains: “LUAL’s firebox will be continuously stoked in order for SIBOL to reach its optimum temperature. LUAL crotch door will then be removed and the SIBOL raku pieces will be pulled out from LUAL’s firing chamber and dropped in waiting combustible chambers. The lids of the combustible chambers are then closed to reduce the pieces.
“LUAL asserts that the force, power, primacy and anticipatory wonderment of kiln firing is birthing. It is a Magnificat to the woman’s role in bringing forth life, which is nothing short of being a miracle, offering life to yield life.”

The festival line-up was secured by organisers North and South Wales Potters and Aberystwyth Arts Centre and alongside Rita features guest artists from Thailand, India, Spain, France, Serbia, Canada and the USA.

The International Ceramics Festival 2015 takes place Friday 3 July - SUnday 5 July, 2015, at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Mid Wales, UK. For more information on the International Ceramics Festival 2015 and all of the demonstrators over the weekend visit Passes for the Festival can be booked online via the ICF website or by calling Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s ticket office on 01970 62 32 32.

Full price weekend tickets are £135 (concessions available) and single day tickets from £75.

Date: Tuesday 23rd June 2015
Time: 10am-4pm
Cost: £40 pp
Age: Adults over 18
Place: The Pottery Studio, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DE
Booking: Aberystwyth Arts Centre Box Office: 01970 62 32 32
Online Booking: Rita Gudiño SIBOL Workshop (open link)

Some en-suite accommodation is available if required in the University Halls of Residence @ £36 per night. For further details, contact the University Conference Office on or 01970 621 960 – please note, this accommodation is not administered by the Festival and must be booked separately.
Hotels and Guest Houses in Aberystwyth

For information about local hotels and B&B options, contact Aberystwyth Tourist Office on 01970 612125 or visit Aberystwyth Hotels and Guest Houses. (open link)

Social Links