La Rambla, a city dedicated to the art of ceramics

ceramic art for millions of years. The skill of making items with clay for later cooking at a high temperature. and in that Rambla It is an international standard Because it has a wonderful pottery tradition, samples of clay have been found that actually worked in the area more than 4,000 years ago. This fact made it in 2012 The oldest area of ​​interest for handicrafts in Andalusia. The process begins with preparing the clay, which is extracted, left to dry, incorporated into a pile with water, stretched and covered, to preserve. This clay is what pottery acquires to make the various pieces. A quantity is placed in the center of the potter’s wheel so that, in this way, the craftsman’s hands form the shape he wants to make. Thanks to the centrifugal force of the wheel and the pressure of the fingers, the clay can acquire shapes that would otherwise be impossible with another procedure. After that, it is left to dry and, using a damp sponge, the impurities from the previous works are cleaned and left to dry again before the first firing. When the pieces go through this process, they can be decorated with paint or just glaze, and returned to the oven for the final result.

Before 2008, it wasn’t strange Find several pottery workshops on the same street in the municipality. But the number decreased after the economic crisis from 120 factories to 65 as it is today. Alvaro Montano The head of the Society of Potterers tells how, although the tradition of pottery has been preserved in the city, it is difficult to preserve the essence of the practice: “Quite literally, there are only two or three workshops left.”

fee. They use oxides to decorate the pieces. J. Lagoon

Despite what you might thinkThe situation in the sector is very good and full of work. At the beginning of the epidemic, in 2020, the economic crisis that has been going on since 2008 worsened. With the end of confinement, there was an unexpected increase in activity, Because of the high prices of container transportation sent from China. There are many European countries that have chosen to get within the continent the products they had previously obtained in Asia, and they went to La Rambla due to its great international standing. In addition to being cheaper, La Rambla ceramic products are of high quality, especially gardening products, tableware and decoration‘ says Montaño.

cleaning. Impurities are removed with a sponge. J. Lagoon

The main problem of the sector is the change of generationsto. Miguel Angel Torres A skilled craftsman in Andalusian trade and crafts, he runs an entirely manual and family-owned workshop. Although their children know the profession and work in it, they do not know how to make the pieces by hand: “There is satisfaction with making ceramics on an industrial scale, but not in an entirely artisanal way.” There is a great shortage of skilled craftsmen, whether painters or potters. Alvaro agrees with Miguel Angel: “Now all young people want to study in order to get a job and be, for example, doctors or journalists. They are not interested in learning to trade. Another problem, more recent, is the increase in costs. Cooking ovens run on gas or fuel, which makes it imperative to transfer this excess to products.

dry rope. Using some pear rod, it is possible to give relief to the piece. J. Lagoon

How can traditional workshops adapt to new age technologies? Pottery has very little technology, so Operations hardly changed in years. If one thing these craftsmen have benefited from, it’s the new ovens, molds, and, of course, the Internet. The vast majority of the workshops have their own website and a large number try to have a presence on social networks. In their gates include the store section Online. In fact, according to Pottery Craftsmen’s AssociationAnd the About 60% of purchases are made outside the borders of our country. Adapting to this new tool seems simple and good results are obtained, but many workshops are making an effort to use this new tool: “For those who are 40 or older, it is difficult. We defend ourselves with the best,” says Alvaro. what we can.”

Born in 1926 Pottery and Pottery Exhibition La Rambla As a competition fair for local potters. Today, known as the EnBarro Gallery, which proclaimed regional historical importance, it received pieces from the United States, Germany or France in previous editions. For a few years, the exhibition has been moved to other dates, while the competition continues during the San Lorenzo Fair. The president of the association explains why the decision was made: “As people were vacationing on the beach, the fair began to slacken.” The ceramic competition has three forms: traditional biscuit pottery, traditional ceramics, and new design and shapes in ceramics, and the winning pieces will be on display as of tomorrow at the Ceramic Museum. The single exhibition of pottery and porcelain is the oldest in Spain and gives the historical value of this trade in the municipality of La Rambla.


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