Ceramics for Your Table

Earthenware -- A Portuguese Tradition

The Portuguese have worked clay since prehistory – it is part of who they are.

Year:  2017

Traveling the country, one finds glazed tiles everywhere- on churches, houses, palace façades and in gardens. You see traditional red and black clay as every region has both. Many areas offer amazing museum reproductions such as Viana do Castelo and Coimbra.

There are whimsical and fun clay traditions such as the figurines from Estremoz, "greenware" from Caldas, or the "galo" (rooster) from Barcelos.

Caldas da Rainha, just north Lisbon, is the unofficial capital of Portuguese pottery-making due to the abundance of clay deposits and its wonderful pottery. Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro opened a factory in 1884 that has made the town famous -- "Fábrica de Faianças". The factory still manufactures a variety of cabbage and greenware, figurines, and fanciful pottery.

Black pottery is found in Molelos, in Centro. The artisans of this region are identified with their creations, practicing the art of pottery-making for generations.

Nisa, Redondo, Barcelos and Alcobaça are other centers of Portuguese pottery-making known for their unique and artistic hand-painted and fired creations.  Traditional blue and white dishes come from São Miguel in the Azores.

Images  (click on image to view full size)