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Wednesday, 24 July 2019

A DAY TRIP TO LETTIE STUART POTTERY, SIERRA LEONE




Twenty miles away from the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone hides away a pottery workshop by the name of Lettie Stuart Pottery in Waterloo. The pottery workshop is in association with SLADEA – Sierra Leone Adult Education and supported by The Aurora Foundation. The studio provides intensive training to people interested in learning the skill. Local potters that have been making ceramic items for over a decade are currently teaching ten Sierra Leoneans the trade.

Before we started to make our own creations we toured the studio space that has seven wheels and multiple tables filled with drying sculptures and ready to buy items. In the storage area we learnt that the majority of the clay used at the site is from the neighbouring region of Lunsar. The reason behind this is because the surrounding clay in Waterloo is too weak to use and requires a whole process within itself to go through before using. Granite stone is manually broken into pieces before conforming into clay. Back breaking work to say the least!

A potter at the studio, Mohammed demonstrated how to make a bowl on the wheel. The kicking of the wheel below to spin the surface top, the manoeuvring of your arms to create your desired shape, as it’s moving. It was quite the workout if you ask me. Nevertheless it was so much fun! Only the items you use are what to pay for, this is the fixed rate of 70,000 Le. Unfortunately items made on the same day cannot be taken away as all items will be left to dry, however this is a great reason/excuse to come back, to collect what you had made during the last visit.


If you are looking to leaves the city and explore elsewhere in Sierra Leone this is a great activity to take part in. 


THINGS TO KNOW:

·      70,000 Le per person
·      Location description: Waterloo, Sierra Leone. Landmark point is ‘Baba Police Post’.

·      Potters I met at LSP: Ibrahima & Mohammed

Photo by Kanja Sesay



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