About Ojala



Chulucana is located on the slopes of Mount Vicus in the far north of Peru.  This mountain was once the centre of the Vicus culture which flourished until about 400 BC.

After the discovery, in the 1960's, of ancient pottery in the tomb of a Vicus nobleman, a small group of potters collected to study and recapture the old traditions. Everything is done by hand using age-old techniques, from mining and processing the clay to shaping and firing the pots.

The pottery is hand formed using hands and feet and a wooden paddle, although recently more 'modern' techniques may be employed using a hand-turned potter's wheel.

The vases are painted with a base coat of clay and mineral oxides, burnished and then fired. The areas where the base colour is to be retained are repainted and then the vases are fired again at low temperatures using organic matter such as mango and banana leaves. No gas or electricity is used in the process.

Any areas that are not painted absorb the smoke and become the dark rich brown colour for which Chulucana pottery is renowned.

The surfaces are polished with smooth stones to achieve a shiny surface. The inside of the pots are not glazed and this ancient process produces the traditional porous works of art which are perfect to stand on their own or, if preferred, can be used for artistic dried flower arrangements.

Please do not fill with water or wash these ceramics. Care for them with beeswax polish and light buffing and they will give you pleasure for many years.

We buy our Chulucana pottery direct from the small family-run community.

A fair price is paid for the pottery and there is no middle man.  


Our good friend Jose, from Piura, offered to oversee the production process and took many photographs of our pottery as it was being made. We paid the family in advance so that they could buy the materials necessary to start production. They are very proud of their work, so if you do buy any of our ceramics and are pleased with them, please let us know and we will pass on your comments.

Unfinished vases in various stages of production. Note the different traditional shapes.

Washing off the protective paint to reveal the rich colours underneath

Each piece individually wrapped! These plastic bags are the only 'non-eco-friendly' part of the process, but they protect the ceramics from the newspaper print used in the packaging

Everything came packaged in newspaper and not one piece arrived broken! They have an ingenious way of forming the paper into padding discs - the forerunner to bubble wrap!