Pagburnayan Jar Making is one of the famous and must see attraction in Ilocos Sur. It is located in Brgy. Pagburnayan Vigan. Pagburnayan is a place where they used the old and authentic methods in pottery. The root word “burnay” is an earthenware jar crafted by potter’s hands with the aid of a potter’s wheel. It uses fine sand (anay) as a tempering material and fired at a high temperature in a huge brick-and-clay ground kiln that make it is harder and more durable than other terra cotta. The local bagoong(fish sauce), sugarcane vinegar, and basi wine would not taste as good as if not fermented in burnay jars.
Burnay Technology was brought by Chinese artisans who introduced the technology and the native craftsmen resided in Vigan. Pagburnayan loosely translated is jar factory. This is an age-old trade of the locals with some allusion to the legendary Ruzon jars value by the Shogunate of Japan because of the jar’s capacity to enhance flavour of food.
According to the Potter-Owner, they use Carabao to step on the soil material to crush and refine the soil. Still with the Carabao, they mix the soil and water it to come up with clay. The clay is wrap with plastic and preserved it for a month. And through the use of potter’s wheel, a burnay is shaped by potter’s hand. Then the product is hardened when baked inside a brick and clay ground kiln at a very hot temperature. Baking and cooling of jars takes days or weeks to complete.
Tourists can also experience pottery making with their bare hands for free. There are also souvenir shops around the area and it’s cheaper compared to those stores in Calle Crisologo. One of the famous shops is the Ruby Pottery, it is open daily from 9:00 AM – 4PM. There are so many designs and sizes available for tourist to buy.