Take Your Kids to a Pottery Workshop

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Once in a lifetime you’re given a rare opportunity.

After a few days in Marrakech the kids were looking at tagines in the house and asked how “those” were made and if they were made from rock.  We told them it was pottery and made of clay and maybe one day we’ll take you to a pottery factory and show you how its made.

Luckily our hosts knew of a family friend who ran and operated his own pottery factory in the outskirts of Marrakech and gave him a call.  We were then booked the following day for our own private tour!

With not one tourist or tour bus in site, we entered an almost deserted city.

Entering the "pottery and mosaic zone"

Entering the “pottery and mosaic zone”

Walking...

Walking…

Deeper into the city , there were many different pottery and mosaic shops along the roadside, with buyers parked and selecting items in bulk.  The first workshop we walked into was a hand-crafted mosaic shop.  The workers were busy chipping away at tiles covered with enamel.

Passing a "handmade" mosaic shop

The a “handmade” mosaic shop we visited

Chipping at tiles to make the beautiful mosaics outside.

Chipping at tiles to make the beautiful mosaics outside.

Piece by piece is laid

Piece by piece is laid

The tiles are then arranged by the artists in the next shop over.  Most of the mosaics are geometrical, a main characteristic of Moroccan architecture.  Mosaics are found throughout the city in walls, ceilings, fountains, floors and tables like the one pictured below.

A mosaic table :)

A mosaic table 🙂

Mosaic Fountains being bought by a hotel owner

Mosaic Fountains being bought by a hotel owner

As we thanked the shop owner we proceeded to the “pottery factory” where family members were waiting our arrival.  They gave us a tour of the retail shop first, showing us all the beautiful pottery that’s made from their factory.  We loved the large pots!

Where pottery is sold to hotels

Where pottery is sold to hotels

"Mom!  It's bigger than me!"

Lou Lou with her new friend Umnia checking out the goods…

Once outside we saw all the beautiful tagines ready for sale.  They were so colorful and if we could we would have bought them all they were that pretty.

Tagines ready to ship to Hawaii!

These tagines were being sold for $2 each

We were then escorted around the corner to the pottery factory where a potter, with over 30+ years experience, would help us create our own masterpieces.   The small, factory was filled with all kinds of pottery; pots, dishes, jugs, tagines, bowls, etc.  We had to walk carefully as not to break anything.

Walking into the pottery factory

Walking into the pottery factory

The clay smells so nice and earthy

The clay smells so nice and earthy

Explaining how this large pot is put together.

Explaining how this large pot is put together.

The start of something special

The start of something special

Once inside our potter started showing us several types of different pottery that can be made from one slab of clay.  We watched in awe as he made 8 items so very quickly one of which he made with this eyes closed.

Making a mini tagine

Making a mini tagine

He made 5 small items for us in less than 8 minutes.

He made 5 small items for us in less than 8 minutes.

Plate and cup

A Plate and cup

The kids got antsy and wanted to touch and make their own pottery, so they jumped up and made their own pieces.  Watching their reaction and the joy on their faces as they learned something new was endearing.

It was Lou Lou's turn

It was Lou Lou’s turn

We left the factory appreciating the potter, his experience, patience and talent.  It is not easy to make pottery and involves a lot of practice and focus.  The kids loved getting their hands dirty and clothes full of clay.  All in all it was a great world schooling opportunity for our family and we didn’t even notice that 5 hours of the day had already passed.

There are many pottery tours available in Marrakech, here’s one we almost went to, until we found out we knew someone who owned one!

Ateliers D’ailleurs

Pottery for kids in Morocco… A Must!!!

 

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