Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fun with clay

Getting down and dirty with the potters wheel at KCC in Siem Reap
One of my Siem Reap stop-offs last week was at the Khmer Ceramics Center, on the road that heads towards the temple complex. If you like getting your hands dirty, covered in clay and having an interesting hour or two producing something of your own, you'll love this. The KCC encourage you to have a go, at a cost of $15 per person, on the potters wheel and under supervision from one of the young pottery students, you can copy a traditional design or just have some fun making a simple clay item. The center will fire your item in one of their bourry box kilns on site and you can get hold of your work of art within 24 hours. Okay, maybe it won't be a ceramics masterpiece but at least you'll have made it with your own fair hands. The author Dawn Rooney is regarded as the top expert on Khmer ceramics and you can find out more about these beautiful items from any one of her books. Phnom Kulen is regarded as the first home of ceramics production and ancient kilns of the early Angkorian Empire and I remember stumbling onto a veritable mini-mountain of clay pots and lids when I went temple-hunting on Kulen a decade ago. Next time I'll make time to have a go on the potters wheel myself.
There's something satisfying about making something with your own hands
One of the bourry box kilns on site at the center
A pottery student producing a classic clay pot with perfect lines
There are a multitude of items including jewelry that are hand-crafted at KCC
Look out for the Khmer Ceramics Center on the road to Angkor

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