Costa Rican Nicoya-style ceramics in Central America
"As time went by, I came to understand that our art should be preserved… And I'm grateful that my children lave this great legacy and tradition.""Being able to fully live this art that my grandmother left me is one of the best things in my life. I began watching and learning as a little girl and my passion for ceramics grows with every year. There's nothing better I could share with you and I want you to become aware of Costa Rica's wonderful arts.
"I'm Floribeth Grijalba. I was born in 1953 in Guanacaste Province, and I work in terracotta.
"I began 'helping' my grandmother when I was only five. She made traditional pots, clay griddles, coffee cups and all kinds of things used in the kitchen. Little by little, I began crafting my own but, of course, Grandmother would come behind me and fix them up. The truth is, I wasn't very good at it. But thanks to her unconditional support, I was able to improve my technique.
"She took me with her to the markets to sell our ceramics and with the little bit of money that I earned, I'd treat my friends to melcochas and other candies. Those were happy days. I learned the value of this art, not only as a source of income but also as an inheritance I should take care of with my whole heart.
"As time went by, I came to understand that our art should be preserved. Sadly, we've lost a lot because there aren't many artisans here who continue to craft this pottery.
"I was fortunate to be able to study. I'm a teacher by profession and an artisan because I love it. I retired several years ago and receive a small pension.
"My sister is also an artisan and I'm surrounded by marvelous people. With her and others, we hope to perpetuate our ceramic legacy. I work with a group of artisans and each signs his or her work. I love that people get to know who is behind our art because of all the love and dedication we put into it.
"I thank God for these unique opportunities to show our art to the world. And I'm grateful that my children have this great legacy and tradition."