This project explores the traditional use of an ancient material, clay, to connect a native Caribbean culture with today’s slow food movement. The Taino were a Native American people who were wiped out by colonization, but who live on through their artisanal traditions, with objects that can be found throughout the Caribbean islands. Fogon is a stackable, outdoor cooking unit and dish set that is inspired by Taino culture. Nowadays the cooking market is increasingly featuring products that promote traditional slow food cooking. Fogon is designed for people who enjoy cooking with clay vessels and for newcomers to this approach.
I investigated the different clay vessels used nowadays for the preparation of food in both traditional and contemporary cultures in Spain, the Middle East, Latin America, North America and Asia. The benefits of cooking with clay include its sustainability, and the fact that cooking with clay vessels preserves food flavors and leads to richer food textures and colors. The resulting design includes a steamer and stewing pot as well as serving plates and bowls, and cups and dishes. The design incorporates traditional Taino techniques such as coiling and hand pressing.