Richard Chavez Quispe, Ceramic Artist

ceramic nativities with Richard Quispe

Born on a ranch in Callao, Peru, Richard acquired his love for ceramics thanks to his older brother, Victor. In 1995, the duo entered their first contest with a Nativity and won first prize. After their victory, well-seasoned, professional ceramists challenged Victor and Richard to enter more contests. This resulted in more wins, which opened new opportunities as Richard gained international recognition.

A few years later, Richard participated in a contest held in Rome and won first place again. During those earlier years in his career, Richard was offered invitations to travel nationally, including China and the U.S.A. He has traveled and exhibited a few times in the US. During those travels he enjoyed visiting different museums to absorb new ideas and inspiration for his craft. However, he enjoys using older techniques in his work. For example, to achieve the super fine and intricate details on his ceramics, he paints with the tip of a chicken feather; an ancient technique that is not commonly used any more. He often travels to Ayacucho, the land of his parents, to collect pigments for his naturally-colored clays.

Ceramist richard working on nativity piece Richard at work

These days, Richard travels on occasion, but mostly enjoys spending his time in his workshop--and with his family. “In my free time, I enjoy grabbing my two packs of twenty-two-pound clay and lock myself away. I ask not to be disturbed, so I can let my imagination run wild and create something new and special.” He also enjoys watching his kids play with clay and make their own toys.

Holy family and sheep ceramic nativity

Richard wishes one day there will be better recognition and support for the arts within Peru as he is disappointed that people know him better outside his own country. Internationally, he feels accomplished as an artist as he and his brother have been included as great masters of folk art of Latin America in the publications sponsored by the Center of Promotion of Culture, Banamex. He is proud as well to continue his grandfather’s tradition, who was a potter, and so he feels this art runs through his veins.

Resting holy family ceramic nativity
Holy trinity ceramic nativity