The kaiku is a jug made from a single piece of wood that is used when milking sheep, goats or cows.It is usually made from the wood of birch trees that have been cut down in winter from the nearby mountains taking into account the moon phases. The smaller ones are normally used to make curd by heating up the milk with hot stones. As a result, these containers can have black scorch marks. Wood is an ideal material because it is light, resistant to knocks and retains heat well, which helps the milk keep its temperature. The final size of the kaiku depends on the wood found. With a capacity of between one and twenty litres /1/, the item is usually shaped like an inverted truncated cone. It has an elliptical rim and its axis is slanted between 45 and 55 degrees to make milking easier. In addition to the handle on the side, the piece also has one on the top to make carrying easier, which all in all makes for a truly unique object.
/1/ GARMENDIA, J., 2007. Evocación montañera pastoril [Evoking the pastoral mountainside]. Etnografía: otros artículos [Ethnography: Other Articles], Eusko Ikazkuntza.
kua is made entirely by hand. When creating the family which includes kua, ora and aba, the designers have explored the traditional Basque pottery technique of applying white enamel to the stoneware, as this increases resistance and gets the best out of the piece. After carrying out various tests via the quick prototyping offered by 3D printing and adjusting the dimensions of the piece, the focus then moved on to the feel of the item. Taking advantage of the rough textured stoneware seen on the handles, the parts which may come into contact with liquids have been glazed. Each piece has been made on a potter’s wheel and the handles have been added later. In this initial series of thirty units, the ceramic grogged stoneware has been baked at 1,000 °C and, once the glaze has been applied, it is then heated at 1,250 °C.
Stoneware and white enamel in the style of traditional Basque pottery
kinka & Blanka Gómez de Segura
Museo-Taller de la Alfarería Vasca, Ollerías, Álava
85 x 115 x 75 mm