The pottery of Barcelos
A lasting collaboration: Casa Atlântica and the artisans of northern Portugal.
The pottery of Barcelos in Portugal
Pottery and ceramics are a very important part of Casa Atlântica. For many years we have been working hand in hand with craftsmen from the north of Portugal and Galicia.
For many years we have been working hand in hand with craftsmen from the north of Portugal and Galicia. Most of them are small family businesses that have been around for a long time. To reach them we ask a lot, we drive many kilometres, we do research... each area has its own speciality. Potters, ceramists, blacksmiths, carpenters, basket makers...
We are currently working with 7 workshops but in all these years we have collaborated with more than 20.
In the 70s and 80s this work was not valued and there was a lot of emigration to France to work in factories where the wages were better. As a consequence many craftsmen's workshops closed down.
In the north of Portugal, especially in the area of Barcelos, there has always been a great tradition of pottery, as these lands are rich in mud and water. With this ease of finding the raw material, many workshops were born. Today they are still family-run, small and very artisan. But with the resurgence and revaluation of craftsmanship they have regained strength.
The pieces always used to be utilitarian although in the second half of the 20th century they began to make more figurative figures with the boom in tourism.