Pottery, an Ancient Technique that Can Be Watched in Grazalema Exhibition

Pottery vase.

Pottery vase.

Not long ago we told you about artisanal salt production, today we would like to talk about another ancient technique that has been recovered: pottery.

Our main character today is Montse Hidalgo, a recognized potter from Grazalema that will exhibit her modeling technique to all the participants in the Crafts and Local Products Exhibition at Fuerte Grazalema Hotel from next 25th May.

One of the most forgotten ancient techniques is the art of modeling clay objects that has allowed human beings to elaborate all kinds of fittings throughout history. Pottery industry, in addition to crockery and hardware store, comprises simple tile work, brick and floor tile elaboration without enamel. Currently, we use ceramics as a synonym of pottery but the former is a more refined technique in which several firings take place, with more sophisticated enamels and a finer decoration techniques.

In culturally technological Western countries, pottery has lost its use, transforming itself in a decorative and collection’s technique with a clear ethnographic and archeological interest.

History and origin of pottery

The first pottery object dates back from Paleolithic era and these were mainly vessels or little maternal and fertility deities representations. The oldest piece is a Japanese prehistoric vessel. The first specialized craftsmen and women appeared in Mesopotamia, they invented tools to make clay work easier, such as the potter’s wheel and the kiln to perform the pottery firings.

The pieces started to be decorated in Greece with geometrical motives that were the most common details together with plants and daily life scenes decoration, made by imitating the art of sculpture.

Pottery techniques were slowly transmitted from the Middle East to Western Europe, and also to the Iberian Peninsula, with a phase lag of approximately two thousand years.

A True Master Craftsworker

In our times, few people are able to use these techniques. For that reason, our main character deserves a space in our Fuerte Hoteles blog. Effort, determination and professionalism describe  Montse Hidalgo’s personality, this craftsworker has been recognized for her great work in order to rescue one of the oldest jobs in the world: the potter’s work.

Fuerte Grazalema Hotel

Fuerte Grazalema Hotel

Fuerte Grazalema Hotel

In 2012 she was awarded the Charter of Master Craftsworker of Andalucía. She has worked in a cooperative of friends of pottery in Al Yamir. Afterwards, she started her own workshop in Sierra de Grazalema National Park, the place where she lives.

In her works, she uses the “in-glaze” decoration technique that allows her to use very vivid colors. However, when she paints walls she uses enamels and a technique called on-glaze decoration. Besides, she also uses the old “cuerda seca” technique from Al Andalus and the color integrated palette. The motives found in her work are usually flowers, trees, landscapes and not geometrical, given the fact that these are not common in the Natural Park.

She has participated in the recovery of ancient pottery techniques with the project ROAPE in Spain and Morocco and has the Natural Park of Andalusia brand together with Anda Natura, an auditor. In this moment, her work comprises useful objects and fittings that can be used in the kitchen and that can be attractive rather than simple decorative objects. A clear bet for making things that can help you in your further personal development.

If you plan a getaway to the Sierra de Grazalema (Cádiz), you cannot miss the opportunity to enjoy an interactive modeling space in the Fuerte Grazalema Hotel during all weekends, from Friday 25th May to Sunday 1st July 2012.

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