Pottery Manufacture in Morocco: an Amazing art

Pottery manufacture is an ancient industry, which relies on drawing the design of a piece of pottery before starting its manufacture, and uses a basic material in its manufacture, which is clay.

Pottery Manufacture


Pottery is a concept called tools and utensils that are made of clay, and fire is used to shape them, and the manufacture of pottery is one of the oldest traditional professions, and pottery is defined as the art of making ceramics, where the production of pottery materials is called one of the crafts, as is the work of ceramics. The famous one is used for the production of many products made entirely of pottery.

Pottery types

Pottery includes many types, including the following:

  • Ceramics: The history of the ceramics industry dates back to about 9000 years, and it is considered the first type that was made, and it is still used today.
  • Stoneware: Stoneware is very hard and is usually semi-transparent, but its colour varies, it can be red, brown, grey, black, or white, and was first made in China in 1400 BC.
  • Porcelain: This type of pottery was first made in China during the Tang Dynasty, while it was not made in the West. It is made of white Chinese clay called kaolin, and China stone, which is ground and used with clay and is known as betontes.

Industry Techniques

Pottery Making pottery with the wheel

The clay is designed using a pottery wheel that relies on a tool that copies the shape of the main model and produces it, then pours it into a mould, dry it, cut it, or seals it in the form of plates or squares, and the pottery must be placed at a high temperature to strengthen the pottery, and enable it from carrying water.

Handcraft pottery

Pottery is made through this technique using only hand and clay, and this approach is still followed at the present time, where the clay ball is pressed by hand and forms a bowl, then the clay is wrapped in ropes or coils until reaching the required height, then the clay is softened at a later time.

If you are interested to discover pottery differently and are introduced to the technique of turning, modelling, sculpture, painting…

The Pottery with fire

Pottery can be made using fire in order to dry it completely, and prevent it from melting as soon as it comes in contact with water; Thanks to the chemical transformation that occurs during the formation of pottery, it is worth noting that in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the first half of the twentieth century the use of huge coal-fired glass furnaces became common, but coal was replaced by cleaner fuels, such as natural gas, propane gas, and wood, electricity, and others.

Pottery manufacture steps

Here is the pottery made by artisans:

  • First, the main ingredient for making pottery is clay (the raw material), which is extracted from the ground. It has many types, including yellow, red and white clay, and it is prepared by craftsmen or so-called craftsmen.
  • Secondly, this clay is broken down, filtered, water is added to it, then kneaded and left for minutes.
  • It is then kneaded again and left to become solid to begin the process of working on it and reshaping it.
  • The manufacturer takes a small amount of dough and puts it on a machine called (the screw), and then the process of forming pieces and tools of various shapes and types begins, and different colours are added to it to turn it into a beautiful and attractive artefact.
  • The pottery piece is transferred to the oven at an appropriate temperature to fix the shape that has been worked on.
  • The last step in making pottery pieces is to put them in the sun to dry completely and put material on them to polish them, and then they are ready for display and sale.

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The History of pottery

The pottery industry in Morocco dates back to very old eras and civilizations that passed through Morocco, such as the Romans and Phoenicians, and we must know that pottery is a heritage history of the Moroccan civilization and is a legacy of the Andalusian civilization, It is certain that the pottery industry in Morocco is in a boom and a great development due to the intense interest of these people in this beautiful handicraft.

It shows through the decorations and drawings that are formed from pottery in Morocco, a great influence on Islamic civilization, and among the most important Moroccan cities that were famous for the art of pottery and also ceramics are Salé, Rabat and Safi, The city of Safi was distinguished from the rest of the cities, as it was the first city in which ceramics were made, which is a plastic-type of pottery because it is located on Wadi Shuba, which is characterized by its clay soil suitable for this art.

The most important pottery products:

  • Utensils to put food and different foods and present it in an orderly manner.
  • Utensils to save food such as jars.
  • Utensils to keep liquids such as water, such as zeer, which is a large clay pot.
  • Utensils for cooking food such as the pot that bears high heat.
  • Utensils and other forms such as figurines, decorations, and beautiful, bright paintings in a variety of colours.

The writer Adnan Ismail said, “There is a great relationship between the pottery maker and clay, as he transforms clay dough into usable pots and decorations, containing creative forms that modern industrial machines cannot form. It is the greatness of the artist’s hand that touches the limits of aesthetic art.”

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