December 6, 2022

“Clay & Fire 2,” an exhibition of stoneware pottery by ceramic artists Tessie Baldo, Siegrid Bangyay, Ardeth Angway Butic, and Jeff van den Broeck, opens at Gallery, #30 C.M. Recto St., Berkeley School, on June 15, at 10:30 a.m.

The exhibition by Baguio and Sagada potters is the inaugural show of this new art space and will be curated by Erlyn Ruth Alcantara.

The first Clay & Fire exhibition was held in November 2013 at The Sanctuary Gallery, Maryknoll.

The artists’ recent works in high-fired pottery show their recent excursions into various forms and glazes in the form of functional objects and fine art vessels.

Tessie, Siegrid, and Ardeth, clay artisans from Sagada, Mountain Province, represent a new breed of ceramic artists in Philippine pottery.

They work with various types of local clay in their clay body and glaze mixtures. They all trained at the Sagada Pottery Training Center in Sagada, Mountain Province in 2000 by former Sagada resident Archie Stapleton, American master potter.

While pottery is fairly new in Sagada where there is no local tradition in the production of stoneware pottery, these artists have engaged the craft in a manner that enables them to produce works that are unique to Sagada and to them as artists.

Even in its early stages, Sagada pottery is carving its own place, having opened a new trail introducing a new craft tradition in the region. This in itself is a significant imprint in modern Philippine pottery, passing on a valuable cultural legacy.

Jeff works on his stoneware pottery at his studio-residence in Baguio. Born in Vosselaar, Belgium, Jeff studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and the Higher Institute for Visual Arts in Anderlecht, Brussels. He moved to this city with wife Angela and son Carlo in 1997. Years before that, he was a journalist in Belgium and a senior official of the European Union.

After years of continuous inquiry and pottery work, Jeff has grown into his own distinct style in making stoneware.

His pottery conveys a classical quality and a contemporary edge created by a masterful combination of art and science; of fine art and the potter’s craft. 

Given his training in the Greek and Roman tradition, Jeff’s works interpret classic forms and show influences from the Anglo-Oriental style of pottery.

He has exhibited in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In the Philippines, he has mounted joined five solo shows in Baguio and eight group exhibitions in Metro Manila.

These Baguio and Sagada potters have exhibited together in the past years: two were in the exhibition “Earth, Wind & Fire,” 2001 and three of them were in “Clay & Fire” in 2013 both at The Sanctuary Gallery. Three exhibited in separate shows at the Bencab Museum (Tessie and Siegrid, “Sagada Glaze,” 2011 and Jeff “Textured Colors,” 2011 and “Clay Art,” 2020).

The Sagada potters have joined various shows together in Baguio and Metro Manila.

“Clay and Fire 2” runs until Sept. 15. Gallery Ninety is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For inquiries, send email to [email protected], call 0999-990-4908, or visit www.galleryninety.com. – Erlyn Ruth Alcantara