A Guide to Moroccan Pottery

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A shelf of colorful painted pottery

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Morocco is a shoppers paradise! From the fabrics, to the leathers, to the ornate metal pieces, to the pottery, and so much more, there is no lack of drool-worthy items to pick up on your travels to this magical country in Northern Africa.

Pottery has been prominent in Morocco for centuries. Since the 11th and 12th centuries, pottery and ceramics have adorned Moroccan’s homes in practical ways with cups and plates, and in more decorative ways with decorated fountains, tables, vessels, and even architecture. Also, depending on where in Morocco the pottery is being made, the colors that you’ll find the most – blue, green, brown, and yellow, represent different areas of the colorful country.

While on my 8-day trip to Morocco with G Adventures, we were taken to a pottery shop where we took a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour to see how all of the gorgeous pieces were made. It was such a treat getting to see how the pieces are made, and the amount of work and detail that goes into each and every piece.


How Pottery is Made

A view inside a pottery storage building with potter bowls and equipment outside the entrance

A close up look at a potter and his pottery piece while at a potters wheel

Each individual piece of pottery is handmade by one of the potters. You can see at this potter’s wheel, the man uses his feet to turn the pottery wheel, where he can then shape the piece.

A tile worker sits and breaks pieces of tile apart to create mosaic pieces.

Pieces of shaped tiles lay on the ground

This man is creating individual pieces to be used in a mosaic. Each piece of the mosaic is hand cut by the workers. Mosaic designs can be customized by piece and by customer.

A painter paints an outline on a bowl

A man sits while he paints a piece of pottery

Outlined bowls wait to be painted

The intricate designs on the pieces are all hand drawn and created by the painters. There are traditional designs that the painters use, and they can also make custom pieces if requested.

The finished pieces can be embellished with metal, left painted and glazed, created into a beautiful mosaic, or a combination of the processes above. The result is vividly colored pieces of art. You can see tables, fountains, tea sets, tagines, and décor, and more practical items like bowls and vessels.


Where to See and Shop

Visit Safi

Safi is the pottery capital of Morocco. Spend the day strolling around this gorgeous town, taking in all of the varieties of pottery that Safi has to offer. Pottery is displayed prominently in the many shops and windowsills for all to see. Be sure to check out the old medina that offers an extensive pottery district for you to shop until you drop!

PRO TIP: Many shops and stalls will ship pieces back home for you so you don’t have to worry about traveling with your new treasures.

National Museum of Ceramics

The National Museum of Ceramics located in Safi is a can’t miss if you want to see all that is Moroccan pottery. The museum is a collection of pottery from various parts of Morocco and from different times throughout history.

The museum is open everyday except Tuesdays, from 10am to 6pm.

Pottery Village in Fes

There are so many things to see and do in Fes but if pottery is your ideal, make sure to visit the Pottery Village in Fes, Ain Nokbi. The Ain Nokbi is located just outside the medina of Fes and there are many tour companies that offer tours and workshops on the beautiful ceramics of the area. You can also spend the day in Fes on a guided tour of the medina that visit many ceramics shop plus other local artisan shops of the area.

Pottery Workshop

If you’re in the mood to create your own pottery and in the Marrakesh area, look no further. You’ll be guided on how ceramics and pottery are made, and then get to make your very own creation to bring home.


While there is so much to do and see in Morocco, I hope you take the time to admire the handicrafts of these lovely locals. There is nothing quite like picking up a piece or two that you know was made with such time and care.


A guide to Moroccan pottery graphic

 

Lisa Emmerman - The Author
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I have had the travel bug since I was young. Living in Colorado, and my parents being from New York, gave us lots of opportunities to go visit family back East. In my professional career as an event planner, I’ve had many experiences in other states, cities, and even other countries. I have been blessed with the ability to see so many different places, people, and cultures.

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