A while back, we stumbled on richly green ceramic candleholders, bowls, and vases on Etsy, and quickly were mesmerized by the verdant glazes, so deep and varied it seemed as though each piece was a study of the color green. As it turns out, that deep green hue is singular—absolutely unique—to a generations-old tradition and to the place that the pieces are made: Tamegroute, Morocco, in the Draa River Valley, bordering the Sahara Desert.
“Tamegroute pottery is the only Moroccan pottery to produce green enamel inherited from the tradition of Fez,” according to Morocco-based Tamegroute Ceramic. “The raw material consists essentially of clay, which remains a secret of color.”
“Tamegroute is home to seven families of artisans who have been practicing pottery for centuries, passing down techniques and secret alchemy recipes from generation to generation,” The NoPo reports. “The artisans of Tamegroute source all their raw, natural materials from the surrounding areas around the village. Clay is collected from nearby palm groves by digging deep holes in the ground…Palm tree branches are used as fuel for the stone kiln.”
The vibrant green hue is a matter of alchemy. “The signature green glaze, a secret mixture passed on from generation to generation, contains a particular type of rock found in local mines a few hundred kilometers away and undisclosed amounts of manganese, silica, cobalt, copper, and barley flour,” according to The NoPo. Once the mixture has thickened (for about a week), vessels are hand-dipped into it and then fired. “It is this firing process,” the NoPo adds, “that is thought to be key to the multi-shade green color that has yet to be replicated anywhere else in the world.”
Intrigued? Here are just a handful of tamegroute pieces we love.
Five to Buy
Frequently asked questions
What are Tamegroute ceramics?
Tamegroute ceramics are handmade pottery items from the small village of Tamegroute in Morocco. They are known for their unique green glaze and rustic, earthy appearance.
How are Tamegroute ceramics made?
Tamegroute ceramics are made using traditional techniques passed down through generations. The clay is sourced locally, shaped by hand or using simple molds, fired in kilns using wood or dried olive pits, and finally glazed with a mixture of minerals like copper oxide to achieve the distinctive green color.
What makes Tamegroute ceramics unique?
Tamegroute ceramics are unique due to their distinctive green glaze, which varies in shade and texture from piece to piece. The irregularities and imperfections in the handmade items add to their charm and character.
What types of Tamegroute ceramics are available?
Tamegroute ceramics include various items such as plates, bowls, cups, vases, and decorative objects. They can be used both functionally and as beautiful decorative pieces for your home.
Where can I buy Tamegroute ceramics?
Tamegroute ceramics can be purchased online from various retailers specializing in Moroccan home decor. You can also visit local artisan markets in Morocco or specialty stores that import these ceramics.
Are Tamegroute ceramics dishwasher and microwave safe?
Most Tamegroute ceramics are not dishwasher or microwave safe due to the handmade nature of the pieces and the unique glaze. It is recommended to hand wash them with mild soap and avoid exposing them to extreme heat.
How do I care for Tamegroute ceramics?
To care for Tamegroute ceramics, it is best to hand wash them with mild soap and warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaning tools or harsh chemicals. Store them in a safe place to prevent any chips or breakage.
Can Tamegroute ceramics be used for food and drinks?
Yes, Tamegroute ceramics are food-safe. However, it is important to note that some pieces may have a slightly textured or porous surface, so it is advisable to use coasters or placemats to protect delicate surfaces from potential stains or marks.
Are Tamegroute ceramics sustainable?
Tamegroute ceramics are often considered sustainable as they are made using locally sourced clay and natural firing processes, which minimize the environmental impact. Additionally, their timeless appeal encourages longevity and reduces the need for frequent replacements.
Can Tamegroute ceramics be shipped internationally?
Yes, Tamegroute ceramics can be shipped internationally. However, it's important to check the shipping policies of the specific retailer or seller before making a purchase, as some restrictions or additional fees may apply.