Marcia Selsor on wed 7 aug 02
Portugal has incredible tiles in places like Coimbra or Lisbon. Some traditional potters may possibly still exist near Chavez
in the north on the Spanish border near Braga - pit fired black ware.
Traditional potters in Spain can be found in Agost especially the pottery of Jose Mollar on the main street of town and near
the pottery museum. When I first went there in 1982 there were 22 local potteries producing ..some with clay delivered by mule
cart. Those days are long gone. But 6 potteries still exist and are exporting to England and Japan to stay alive. Near
The national ceramics museums in Spain are in madrid, Valencia and barcelona. I don't like Madird that much because it is high
altitude ( read thin air ) and high pollution.
Barcelona has the museum, all of Gaudi's great work, especially Guell park and Sagradad Familia and Casa Piedra. I strongly
recommend taking in a concert in the Catalunya palau de Musicam an Art Nouveau gem of tile, mosaic, wood, stained glass etc. a
truely elegant experience.
Miro Museum is also very wonderful. His ceramics are no longer in there but are at the Nat'l Museum. Go to the coffee house in
the zoo also.
Valencia's museum is in the newly renovated Casa de Dos Aquas. Great baroque Palace to showcase Spanish ceramics especially
majolica and luster ware from the area.
I visited 48 pottery villages in 1985-86 but they were disappearing rapidly. haven't been back since 1999. Sevilla, granada
and Cordoba have great ancient tiles. There are two factories still producing tiles that exist in the Alhambra ( built1350s).
The parking lot of one of these displays patterns that are available. The competition is right across the road. They are on
the old highway out of town to the north. If you get up near Zamora, go to the pottery villages of Pereruela and Moveros.
These places are undoubtly still producing. Moveros potters have kilns made of granite.-interesting.
There is lots to see.
Marcia in Montana
A great book is
Rutas de Alfarera in Espana y Portugal por Emili Sempere 1983. Very outdated but worth going to some of these sites.
"Jose A. Velez" wrote:
> I will be traveling to Spain and Portugal, any recommendations as to ceramic related exhibitions/sites I should try to see.
> Thanks in advance, Jose A. Velez
> Send postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at email@example.com.
Jose A. Velez on wed 7 aug 02
I will be traveling to Spain and Portugal, any recommendations as to =
ceramic related exhibitions/sites I should try to see.
Thanks in advance, Jose A. Velez
Frances Howard on fri 16 aug 02
Dear Jose Velez,
Here is a little info for you about pottery in Portugal. I visited
the Algarve in March and was surprised and happy to see so much. Take the
EN 125, starting at Porches and continue along to Henry the Navigator's
fortress at Sagres. There are lots of large pottery shops on both sides of
the road. Stop at all of them, as although there is much sameness, each
has some different pieces. Prices vary a little also, especially for the
tiles, azuleros in Portuguese. (There has been some discussion about this
word on Clayart, it just means tiles in Portuguese). I liked the blue and
white tiles with old ship paintings. You will see tiles everywhere, on both
new and old buildings. You can buy huge pictures or single tiles. There
are vast quantities of terra cotta pots for gardens etc. Some are enormous,
sadly not aeroplane friendly. There is also a lovely line of mugs, bowls,
casseroles etc in glazed earthenware with minimal decoration which are very
pleasing; you can also get the same line in the supermarkets, but again
large and difficult for a plane. I liked this, as the other pottery is
enormously decorated with underglaze and one appreciates this no decoration
restraint. This pottery turns up in all the restaurants as a matter of
course. It crazes a lot, but noone seems to take any notice.
The most original pottery by far is the Olaria Pottery in Porches (left
hand side going west). This was started by an Englishman, Roger (?) Swift
in the 1960s, who saw the decline in traditional pottery and was determined
to resurrect and preserve it. One of his daughters' Juliet, runs this and
another, Kate, has a pottery in the beautiful old town of Silves nearby. If
you go to no other, this should be it. They have some large and very
beautiful wall plates with local birds etc. I thought I could detect a bit
of Bernard Leach, but was assured that this was entirely Portuguese. It was
nice to be able to ask and receive answers in English, e.g. they used to use
local clay but now don't etc.
All the museums have local pottery, starting with Roman. There is a
large Roman villa just north of Faro at Milreu with lovely mosaics, some are
in the Faro museum, but not all. There is a ruined swimming pool decorated
with lots of stubby fish which turn into elegant creatures when distorted
underwater. There is a wonderful mosaic in Lisbon on the river front
commemorating Vasco de Gama. It is a 100ft compass rose surrounded by waves
which go up and down and heave at you. Enough to make you feel quite
The tourist office puts out a booklet called Museums and Palaces which
is well worth having, though it's worth remembering that Portugal lost the
greater part of its old buildings in the earthquake of 1750. A museum I
would have liked to visit but didn't is at Mertola inAlentejo province with
"one of the most important collections of Islamic ceramics in the world
The most startling thing about Portugal is that pottery is all around
you, all the time. Hope this helps.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jose A. Velez"
Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2002 11:38 PM
Subject: Spain and Portugal
I will be traveling to Spain and Portugal, any recommendations as to ceramic
related exhibitions/sites I should try to see.
Thanks in advance, Jose A. Velez
Send postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
Jose A. Velez on sat 12 oct 02
Ladies and Gents:
I recently made a vacation trip to Spain and Portugal and solicited and =
received quite a few tips as to where to go to see ceramics/pottery =
while there. Here is a brief report. Although I did not have enough =
time to go to most of the suggested places, in general I was =
disappointed. As suggested by one of you, ceramics seems to be a dying =
craft in Iberia, opposite to other forms of art. There were a few =
exceptions, but I saw very few examples of a dynamic and progressive =
craft. In Seville I went to a galleria/shop and try to engage an older =
gentleman in conversation and ask to see the shop. I was flatly turn =
down and he explain that was their policy due to the competition (the =
sharing enjoyed at Clayart is not universal). For the most part I just =
saw the run of the mill repetition aimed at the tourist. In Lisbon I =
did manage to visit a small shop owned by a young ceramist and she was =
very enthusiastic and open showing us around. We found some very =
interesting tiles with scenes of Lisbon in an impressionistic style. =
The other bright spot was the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, a private =
collection by an Armenian oil tycoon was the basis for this museum, and =
it is quite good. The collection of Chinese and Turkish pottery is =
really outstanding. Also saw some very old buildings in El Barrio Alto =
ornate with tiles all over. Now if you like the theater there is plenty =
to see. We were there 15 days and went 5 times to the theater: =
musicals, concerts, dramas. Excellent quality, nothing to envy Broadway =
at very reasonable prices. We spent a day at El Prado mostly on =
Velazquez, Goya , El Greco and Bosch (El Bosco). We could had used =
another day there. We really had a grand time, but ceramics was not the =
Jose A. Velez
F.Chapman Baudelot on mon 14 oct 02
Content-Type: text/plain; x-avg-checked=avg-ok-427671D7; charset=iso-8859-1; format=flowed
Jos=E9 A.. Velez wrote:
>I recently made a vacation trip to Spain and Portugal and solicited and=20
>received quite a few tips as to where to go to see ceramics/pottery while=
>there. Here is a brief report. Although I did not have enough time to go=
>to most of the suggested places, in general I was disappointed. As=20
>suggested by one of you, ceramics seems to be a dying craft in Iberia,=20
>opposite to other forms of art. There were a few exceptions, but I saw=20
>very few examples of a dynamic and progressive craft. In Seville I went=20
>to a galleria/shop and try to engage an older gentleman in conversation=20
>and ask to see the shop. I was flatly turn down and he explain that was=20
>their policy due to the competition (the sharing enjoyed at Clayart is not=
>universal). For the most part I just saw the run of the mill repetition=20
>aimed at the tourist.
Too true! I have been back here for a year now, and cannot sell anything=20
that is not tourist oriented, e.g. ashtrays and the occasional decorative=20
Fran=E7oise in Southern Spain