What To Do In La Union: Hands-on Pottery Lesson With Pagdamilian Ti La Union

Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by Tina

Looking for other things to do in La Union other than surfing and hanging out on the beach? Why not try a  pottery lesson? It is a very fun activity and as my friend describes it, very relaxing. Red Clay Pagdamilian / Pagdamilian Ti La Union in Taboc, San Juan, La Union offers a hands-on pottery lesson.

I was asked earlier how I came to know about the pottery lesson. And my answer was through Facebook. But as I am writing this post, I finally remember that I learned about it maybe 2 or 3 years ago when I was buying pots in Taboc. I saw in the shop where we were buying the pots that they are offering hands-on pottery lessons.

I have always wanted to try it out. As a matter of fact, last March I was planning to do it but I just couldn’t fit it in my schedule. And yesterday I was finally able to experience it. Last Monday was my friend’s birthday, and as a gift for her, I asked her to join me in a pottery lesson with Pagdamilian Ti La Union.

In this post, I am going to share with you everything you need to know about this hands-on pottery lesson.

About Red Clay Pagdamilian / Pagdamilian Ti La Union

According to Tan, the guy who taught us during the pottery session, Pagdamilian Ti La Union started as a retail outlet of pots along the national highway in Taboc, San Juan way back. They started offering pottery lessons in 2015.

Pagdamilian is an Ilocano word that means clay pottery production area, and Ti La Union means of La Union.

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How to Book a Hands-on Pottery Lesson

Pagdamilian Ti La Union doesn’t accept walk-ins. You need to book a session with them at least 2 days in advance, although a day before will probably do on weekdays when there is lesser demand. To book, just visit their Facebook Page Pagdamilian Ti La Union and click on the Book Now button then select the desired schedule.

How Much Is The Pottery Lesson?

The pottery lesson costs Php 250 per person. However, a minimum of 2 persons per session is required. If you are alone in La Union and can’t find anyone to do it with you, you can still go on with the lesson. However, you need to pay for two. When you book a session, you need to pay 50% downpayment through Gcash. After that, you will receive a confirmation of your appointment.

Related Post: Is La Union Open For Tourists?

How Many Participants Are Allowed Per Session?

As stated above, the minimum number of participants per session is two and the maximum is six. Children are now allowed to participate as long as they are accompanied by an adult/their guardian.

The Hands-on Pottery Lesson

Each participant is provided with a potter’s wheel (manual), a small pail with water, and the clay that will be used in making the pot. The clay provided is a mixture of clay, ash, sand, and water. Art materials are also provided to design your pot.

I will not go into detail on how to make a pot. That’s for you to find out. What they teach during the session is basic pottery making which is pinching and coiling. You are free to create whatever design you want. Pottery making is easy, fun, and very therapeutic. The session lasts for an hour.

After you finish making your pot, they will assign a number. You can’t take your pot home yet because it needs to be dried and baked. They are going to air dry it for 2 weeks, and sun-dry for 2 days. On the 2nd day of sun-drying, the pots are dried in a kiln for 5 hours. So only after 2 or 3 weeks can you go back to collect your finished product. Now if you are not living in La Union, what you can do is request them to ship it for you, or you can bring home the finished product after the session and you be the one to air dry and sun-dry it.

The potter's wheel, clay and water
The potter’s wheel, clay, and water
The clay
The clay
Some art materials to design your pot
Some art materials to design your pot
Me busy designing my pot
Me busy designing my pot
Tan helping me with the design of my pot
Tan helping me with the design of my pot
Finished product
Finished product. I made the pot with a face while Violet made the two small pots.
With the birthday girl, Violet

Tour of the Working Area

After our session, Tan showed us their working area and shared with us the process of making a pot from the collection of the clay to drying it out in a kiln.

They use red soil for the clay mixture. From the mountain, they let the soil dry under the sun for 2 days to remove moisture. Next, they soak it in water for a day. After that, they add ash and sand to the clay and mix the whole thing in a mixer.

Now to make the pot, they put the mold and the clay in a jigger. Then they air dry it for two weeks, sun-dry for 2 days, and dry in a kiln for 5 hours.

The red soil is soaked in water for a day
The red soil is soaked in water for a day
The mixer
The mixer
The kiln, where they dry the pots
The kiln, where they dry the pots
They use wood in firing the kiln. The ash from the wood is what they use in the clay mixture
They use wood in firing the kiln. The ash from the wood is what they use in the clay mixture
The jigger
Molds used in making pots
Molds used in making pots
Tan and his shy companion
Tan and his shy colleague

How To Get To Pagdamilian Ti La Union

Pagdamilian Ti La Union is located at Brgy. Taboc, San Juan, La Union. To get there, if coming from Urbiztondo, when you reach Taboc turn left to the concrete road beside Kapehan Shop. Go straight until you reach the wide parking space. There you will see Pagdamilian Ti La Union.

Camp Avenue
If you see this, turn left if coming from Urbiztondo
The entrance to Pagdamilian Ti La Union
The entrance to Pagdamilian Ti La Union

Some Life Lessons From The Pottery Session

Okay, I will not end this post without sharing some life lessons that I learned while making a pot. First, imperfection is okay. Don’t stress yourself trying to make a perfect-looking pot as long as you enjoy the process. The same is true with life. It’s okay to have an imperfect life as long as you are happy with how you live it.

Second, create something even if it sucks. The important thing is that you did something. And lastly, it’s okay to start over. When I was making a pot, I was trying so hard to make it work even if it looks really bad and soggy already. Tan noticed that it looks hopeless already, so he told me maybe it would be better if I redo it. I guess you can compare it with life, or relationships. Sometimes we hold on to something just because we’re afraid to start over again not thinking that letting go, moving on, and starting over isn’t bad at all. It is actually better.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message on Facebook or Instagram or write it down in the comments section.

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