Monday, April 10, 2006
We knew there was a factory in Cuenca and, this year, we compelled Cayo to take us there. We piled in a small yellow taxi and headed for the outskirts of town. It was much larger than I expected. Where we entered was a very nice gallery with art pieces. Senor Vega started the company originally but has since sold it. He has his own gallery and workshop in Cuenca where he makes very nice original pieces. (see Terry’s prior post regarding the Vega gallery.) In the gallery of the Artesa plant were a number of original pieces by señor Vega.
The people at the factory were very nice and hospitable. A lady gave us a complete tour of the factory.
We saw the piles of raw clay and the crafting of the basic shapes. Then they fire them in an oven and all the items are hand painted. The final firing sets the colors. They obviously produce a high volume and we were told that they ship them to the US and a couple of other countries in addition to the Ecuadorian distribution.
At the end of the tour we were taken to an area with a long rack that contained rejects. For some designs, there were just a few pieces and for others there were many. Any item in this area could be purchased for a dollar. We bought these four small bowls from the discount rack.
Now, after using these dishes for about 8 years, I have questions of the safety of the glazing. I don't know how to be assured that the dishes are safe to use.
Do you have any information about that?