As a young boy, Lucho Soler became passionate about pottery while studying Peruvian history at school. A self-taught artist and pottery purist, he has been refining his technique for nearly 50 years and currently creates his masterpieces in his ceramic studio tucked away in the old part of Ollantaytambo.
He started creating his own pieces based on replicating the ancient ceramics he saw in books and archaeological museums. Studying and refining the old ceramic techniques over the years, Lucho is now dedicated to recovering and preserving the ceramic tradition in Peru with a focus on pre-Columbian motifs, designs and techniques.
Originally from Lima, Lucho has lived almost 25 years in the USA, mostly in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where pottery is produced by native artists. Here he worked his clay and lived among the most renowned potters and diverse artists in a wonderful exchange of clay and culture. An applauded international artist, Lucho is currently exhibiting pieces in the Andrea Fisher Gallery in Santa Fe and has in the past exhibited in various museums across the US, the Peruvian Embassy in France, the Museo de la Nacion in Lima and at the Q’oricancha Temple in Cusco.
Each piece is a unique work of art and takes some time to create. The entire process is carried out by hand. The clay is collected locally from the surrounding hills and prepared by the artist using a special formulation. Later each pot is hand-moulded (no pottery wheels are used) with the help of fingers, paddles and stones. Pieces are then polished to acquire the mirror like finish and then fired in a primitive kiln when they are dry.
A visit to his studio is like a walk in time through the various pottery periods, styles and techniques used by the Moche, Nazca and Chavin cultures with fragments of pottery on display dating from these periods as well as Luchos’ own pieces. He loves to chat and share his passion so a visit to his studio is a great opportunity to learn about pottery and the creation process behind each piece.
Lucho organizes workshops and specialty classes with local new artists to try to keep the tradition of fine pottery making alive and he also offers classes to tourists if you book with him in advance.
Ollantaytambo is not the kind of place you expect to find artwork of such high quality so Lucho’s studio is a real treat. Definitely worth a visit if you have some time in Ollanta and want to take home an exquisite piece of pottery as a very special memory from Peru.
Best of Cusco recommends:
- Lucho can also ship pieces back to the US, Europe and the rest of the world. Handy, if you don’t want to risk carrying around delicate pottery on your trip!
- If the studio isn’t open when you arrive call Lucho on: 984 459048 or email: email@example.com and he will come and open the studio.
Pieces range from US$150 - US$3000.