Artisans of Fes: The potters

As you walk down the bustling streets of the Fes Medina on your Morocco tour, shopkeepers are sure to be displaying many different wares. You will see the intricate woven carpets, the colorful scarves, glittering gold plates, tiled tables, and delicate pottery. Fes is famous for its beautiful pottery as well as other exciting crafts. For over six centuries, Fes has been known to produce the best pottery in Morocco.

The pottery of Fes is all handmade and designed. For a optional excursion during a stay in Morocco, you might choose to go to the place where it is all created, and watch the wonder yourself. To begin with, there are potters who spin the clay into many different shapes, such as normal bowls, spice holders, and tajine pots. The ceramic tajine pots are not to be cooked with, but the hosts will usually serve the meal in it. After it has been sun dried, then fired in a kiln, the pieces are glazed and then taken to be painted. If you go on the tour, you will see a room filled with women hand painting the pottery. It is a very tedious and precise process that takes a lot of skill and steadiness. They free hand paint the designs, without a stencil or any other mold. No two pieces of pottery are the same, though you can sometimes tell the certain style of the artist. The traditional color of Fes pottery is a shade of cobalt blue, found from the cobalt oxide there. Sometimes you will be able to find a variety of colors together, such as a yellow, earthy green and salmon. Occasionally while shopping you will see silver metal twisted around the ceramic piece in intricate designs. These are all beautiful types of pottery, but the most authentic choice is the Fes blue and white.

The best place to buy Fes pottery is probably in the souks in the heart of the medina. The prices there aren’t ridiculously raised for tourists, like they would be at the factory where the pieces are made. Of course, the factory offers an incredible experience to watch the whole entire process, which makes up for the higher prices. Be sure to bargain for your pottery, and before you buy a piece, check it over for blemishes. Because it is all handmade, sometimes there will be a miniscule smudge or mistake in their work. It will be impossible to find complete perfection, but by checking it you will be able to avoid noticeable errors.
If you would like a useful yet beautiful souvenir to take back with you from your visit to Morocco, this pottery is an ideal choice. From mini tajine shaped pots that hold salt and pepper, to large plates and bowls, this pottery has multiple uses. Some people choose to hang the patterned plates on their walls for decoration. The decision of what you do with your pottery is up to you. Fes holds many other irresistible trinkets but pottery is definitely one of the best choices for a gift or a souvenir.

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