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The Clay
True to Alentejo’s rooted pottery tradition, undoubtedly the Portuguese region where this art flourished the most, much due to the argillaceous formation of its land that provided the raw material essential to this craft, pottery remains, without question, a symbol of Nisa’s handicraft. Similarly to other villages in the region, workshops abounded until two or three decades ago, many times home-based, with its foot-wheel, kneading tanks and ovens working on holm-oak wood, revealed in the terraces and shop-windows where the pieces dried. Although this is not the case anymore – Nisa now has only three potteries – the tradition hasn’t died, probably because of the true specificity of the pieces made here.

Its main distinctive characteristic is, without a doubt, the "stoned" decorative technique, made with small white quartz fragments, that rip the clay in well outlined furrows, bringing to life beautiful decorative motifs, carefully planned and essentially linked to the local fauna and flora. It is mainly this decorative art, a task traditionally performed by skilled and experienced feminine hands (which have already acquired a delicacy developed through the refined embroidery technique) that makes these pieces, simple in its essence, true works of art imbued with great beauty and artistic value. 


 

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