La Chamba Pottery Pots and Cookware

chamba bean pots

How Chamba Pots Are Made

Each piece is made by hand on rudimentary pottery wheels.

chamba factory image 1

 After the piece is formed and shaped it is coated with a fine red clay.


group of unglazed chamba pots

The red clay is then rubbed with natural stones. After firing the red hot pieces are covered with rice husks and smoked. This part of the process is what changes the color from red to black. Small imperfections in the finish and flecks of minerals (mica) in the clay are part of the handmade process. The mica acts as an insulator and gives the cookware the ability to heat evenly and not crack under temperature changes.

chamba pots  in metal drums read for glaze

Once the pieces are burnished they are loaded into metal drums for firing. 

chamba pot bins loaded onto kiln floor

This picture shows the drums being loaded onto the kiln floor.

Chamba Use And Care

La Chamba pots are quite sturdy and will last many years with proper use and care.  The pieces can go directly from the stovetop, microware or oven to the table for sophisticated presentation.
The pots can be used directly on a gas range but use a heat diffuser if you have an electric range.  La Chamba can also be used in the oven.  Please read details below.

  • Adjust To Room Temp - Most important, pottery cookware should not be exposed to drastic temperature changes. 
  • Allow the pot to sit on the counter and adjust to room temperature before each use.
  • Oven use -  do not preheat the oven.  Place the filled pot in a cold oven and then turn on the heat.  Putting a pot in a pre-heated oven may cause the pot to crack.
  • Range Top Use -  Use directly atop your gas cook top but use a heat diffuser if you have an electric range
  • Sit Hot Pots on Pads - sit hot pots on a trivet or a doubled kitchen towel.  Don't sit a hot pot on a cold stone or tile counter.
  • Hand Wash Only -  After use, fill the pot with warm soapy water.  Make sure to avoid overly "fragrant" soaps which can flavor the clay.   Allow the pot to soak briefly then scrub lightly with a cloth or Teflon scrubber. Don't use metal or highly abrasive scouring pads or powders. Do not put in your dishwasher.

Color Changes

Because of the natural (not chemical) glaze used your pot may change color with use.  This is normal and is considered part of the natural character of these handmade pots.


chamba double condiiment dish
la chamba double sauce bowl

Credits

All factory images by lavidaverde

author

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.