Gustavo Salas Palomino is a charming, gently-spoken man who we met recently when we discovered the Toro Wasi ceramic store in Pisac which is without a doubt currently one of the most interesting and aesthetically pleasing stores in the Sacred Valley. Born in Pisac, he initially studied in one of the local ceramic workshops. He then studied under the renowned self-taught ceramicist Edgar Merida, before moving to Lima to study fine arts and develop his own unique style of award-winning vibrant ceramics.

Toro Wasi means ‘house of the bulls’ in the local Quechua language and is a fitting name given Gustavos’ focus on creating modern representations of the bull. A key element of Andean culture representing power, strength and abundance. His ‘toro giro’ bull series, which makes up a large body of his work, is a play on movement with clean, simple lines fusing the local Andean culture with the ‘mestizo’ Spanish heritage common to Peru.

In all his pieces he strives to unite past and present creating contemporary ceramic pieces that draw from the language of the past. His workshop is based in Lima but his pieces are strongly tied to both his Andean heritage and the Andean cosmovision.

Gustavo travels to different festivals around Peru including the ‘Fiesta Candelaria’ in Puno. It is at these festivals where he is inspired by the movement, sounds and colours which he then takes back to his workshop and uses to creates his pieces.

His work is consistently inspired by traditional elements of Andean culture which is why collections including  the ‘waca waca’ dancers from the altiplano region, the colourful replicas of the ‘Virgin of affection’ and the ‘Virgin of Happiness’. His llama, owl and cat series also make great souvenir or collection pieces to take home as a memory of your trip in Peru.

There are currently very few stores of this caliber in the Sacred Valley that offer a unique piece of authentic Andean culture filled with colour, love and folklore created by a local Pisac artist who has received the UNESCO Award of Excellence and international acclaim for his work.

Best of Peru Travel Recommends:

  • If you want to buy a bigger piece to take home they are more than happy to ship it to you or to send it to your hotel in Lima where you can pick it up on your way home.
  • Check out Gustavo’s newest series of stunning individual hand-crafted sheep.

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How to get to Pisac