Black Terracotta Mug from Bisalhães
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This earthenware cup has been used in Portugal for more than 500 years and is part of the porteries crafted by Jorge Ramalho, the last potter to use the ancestral technique of making black pottery from Bisalhães.
The originality of this pottery lies in its color, which can vary from coal black to dark gray. This coloring is obtained naturally by firing in the open air, in a fire of wood, grass and damp earth.
More than an object, this cup is a part of the Portuguese heritage, considered today as world heritage to be safeguarded, by UNESCO.
Why I love it
- A part of the Portuguese heritage recognized by UNESCO.
- A unique object and an ancestral technique.
- A very original decorative object
- Height: 3.9"
- Width: 3.1"
- Weight: 250 g
More informations ?
Black pottery is made in several stages. First of all, the clay is crushed with a wooden hammer in a stone tank before being sifted, added water, kneaded, shaped, smoothed with pebbles and decorated with a stick.
The firing is always done in the heart of the village of Bisalhães, in a community oven, built in the open air. The pottery is placed on the ground, covered with wet earth and herbs and then finally with wood that is set on fire.
The slow firing process gives the pottery its special appearance and also its solidity. Passed on almost exclusively through family ties, the future of this practice seems threatened today because of the disappearance of the holders of the know-how.
If you want to know more about this manufacturing process, go to our blog and read our article on the black pottery of Bisalhães.