Sagada pottery was established in 2000 by American potter Archie Stapleton, son of Episcopalian missionaries assigned in Sagada in the 1960s. Stapleton was able to assemble a pottery workshop of a group of 15 local artisans in all the stages of making pottery from finding clay deposits and glaze ingredients, processing clay, throwing forms on the wheel, mixing and applying glazes, and firing the kiln.
Out of the 15 apprentices, only two were able to pursue and practice as contemporary ceramic artists in Sagada. Siegrid Bangyay began her training in 2001 while Tessie Baldo started in 2004. Both have worked extensively with local clay materials and are continuously experimenting with local glazes. Bangyay and Baldo’s crafts have been showcased in local and national exhibits. Their ceramic creations have also been and even in international pottery exhibits showcasing contemporary pottery in South East Asia.
According to Bangyay, one must have plenty of patience and passion in order to pursue pottery. She said that it is not the kind of profession that pays the bills. Bangyay trains her nieces and Baldo trains her daughter in the nit and grit of pottery through workshops conducted for kids.*** –Louella Pader