Ten Thousands Villages Sale

October 28, 2016

Every Purchase is a Gift to the World!

Friends of Ten Thousand Villages-Annapolis Valley/Kentville is making a difference in the lives of artisans around the world by selling exquisite, handcrafted gifts and home décor. The event, to be held at Kentville Fire Hall, 463 Main St offers an opportunity for citizens of Kentville, NS to make a difference by shopping fair trade. Shoppers will also learn more about skilled artisans in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In its 9th year the sale will showcase a beautiful assortment of musical instruments, pottery, jewellery, baskets, toys, crèches and hand loomed textiles.

Ten Thousand Villages offers fairly traded, unique home décor and gifts at the Kentville Fire Hall, 463 Main St, Kentville, on Friday October 28 from 12 Noon to 8:00 PM and Saturday October 29 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Your purchase at the Kentville Festival Sale will help skilled artisans in more than 30 countries receive a fair price for their handcrafted wares.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think too hard about terracotta pottery. The ancient clay-based pottery is used to create everyday items from inexpensive planters to elaborate candle ten-thousandholders. When it’s handmade with care by experienced artisans, the classic material is anything but boring. During a visit to Bangladesh we met Jaharlal Paul, a master potter from Kartikpur village, who learned his craft from his father. Jaharlal started making pottery back in 1975. Today there are 50 people in his workshop.

Jaharlal says creating the best terracotta products requires great care and skill every step of the way. It also takes superb raw material. The soft, sticky clay found in Southern Bangladesh, which offers a good mix of sand and fine particulate matter, is easy to shape, mold and fire. Even so, 20 per cent of all pottery pieces will get damaged during their creation, despite careful handling.
Artisans form models, and then press clay into them. Then they set the clay in the forms outside to dry in the sun for two days. Historically in Bangladesh, rains were mostly restricted to monsoon season. Recently, the terracotta artisans have noticed the climate changing, and the rains becoming much less predictable. Rain and wet weather can ruin pieces or slow down the process, so they are worried climate change will cause a shortened work season.
The sun-dried pieces, still in the molds, are placed into a kiln for two or three days of biscuit firing to ensure the pottery is tough enough to withstand use. Different fuels and clays can change the colour of the finished products. When the kiln door is left open during the firing process, the resulting terracotta is a rich, red colour. If the door is closed, the pottery turns black.