The town of Tamegroute is just before the Sahara desert. In Berber language, Tamegroute means ‘last place before the desert’.
Within the square of Tamegroute there are 7 ovens, one belonging to each of the traditional pottery families that has been passed through generations.
Tamegroute pottery is a work of art. The entire production process passes several steps which are each carried out very carefully. The process begins at the River Draa where potters dig up the clay and cart it to the front of their atelier where the clay is mixed with water. Next, the clay is stretched out on the ground to let the moisture evaporate.
When the clay is perfect, the potter starts to spin and shape the clay. Since Tamegroute pottery is only fired a single time, the glaze is applied before it enters the oven. The glaze consists of 80% magnesium, 19% silicon and 1% copper. The 1% copper together with the clay out of the Draa river is what forms the rich green colour. Another type of clay with the same glaze composition would still not provide the same result. In some cases, the copper is replaced with iron oxide to produce a lighter yellow/brown shade.
Once this process is complete the pottery is baked at a high temperature in one of the seven earth ovens. The unique process is like no other and each piece produced carries it’s own natural scars and characteristics.
Everything is done through feeling, one that is based on years of experience passed on from generations. Not a single measuring device or thermometer is ever used.
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