Pottery has played a curious part in Philippine culture. Our ancestors buried their dead inside manunggul jars, our patis and local wines like basi and tapuy are fermented in burnay jars, and the dinengdeng of Ilocanos are traditionally cooked in earthen pots.
Potter Joey De Castro continues to embed pottery into the culture of modern Filipinos. With clay that he mixes himself using raw materials from all over Asia, De Castro creates everyday functional items usually taken for granted. It could be a simple bowl containing the ubiquitous sinigang for dinner or a mug for your morning coffee. The designs, either shiny or matte, are simple yet ergonomically unique as he makes every piece by himself.
De Castro’s collections are nameless for the reason that his creations are here to stay and evolve. With every piece, every time you sit down to eat, your comedor becomes a setting for the continuation of Philippine pottery’s long history.
This story was originally published in Northern Living, October 2016.
Writer: OLIVER EMOCLING
PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA