Gundivós Pottery

Pottery in Gundivós is an artisanal handicraft from the 15th century and to the present day has practically unchanged. These pieces are made of native clay, some of the most noteworthy being the dark large earthenware jars that were used to carry the wine from Amandi for centuries or pitchers with a characteristic “moustache” decoration.

In Gundivós, Sober, in the south of the province of Lugo, Galicia (Spain) pottery which stands out for its light grey colour has been made for centuries. This is one of the oldest in the Iberian Peninsula and the only one in Galicia that is still made on a low wheel. 

Elías González learned the trade of a cacharreiro (this is how potters from this region in the Ribeira Sacra are named) from a traditional potter in his free time. He gradually started to work as a professional craftsman, defending his style and combining handicraft and tourism thanks to the Gundivós Rectory, an astonishing building from the 16th century.

Elías bought the Rectoral de Gundivós nine years ago in the village of Sober (Lugo, Galicia, Spain) and he restored it and prepared it for a cultural tourism centre focused on traditional pottery. The Rectory was devised as a sustainable pottery workshop and it functions as a visitor centre where one can see Elías doing his job. There is a conference room, a room where old pieces are exhibited and a shop. Accommodation is also available.

Rectoral de Gundivós is a comprehensive project in which he intends to promote the region of Ribeira Sacra by preserving the tradition of this age-old pottery and passing it on through the pieces he makes.

Gundivós Pottery

Pottery in Gundivós is an artisanal handicraft from the 15th century and to the present day has practically unchanged. These pieces are made of native clay, some of the most noteworthy being the dark large earthenware jars that were used to carry the wine from Amandi for centuries or pitchers with a characteristic “moustache” decoration.

In Gundivós, Sober, in the south of the province of Lugo, Galicia, pottery which stands out for its light grey colour has been made for centuries. This is one of the oldest in the Iberian Peninsula and the only one in Galicia that is still made on a low wheel.

The recovery of this pottery style was possible thanks to a group of emigrants who returned to Galicia at the end of the seventies, who were determined to take up again the work on the low potter’s wheel by preserving their ancestors’ traditions. They found people, like Elías Torres, willing to learn the trade and recover this artisanal handicraft typical of the Ribeira Sacra.

The pieces from Gundivós are made of an exceptional raw material which is extracted by the artisans themselves in the area. Two types of clay are used a stronger one and a sandier one. After being moistened and softened with a treatment, it has to be kneaded until it reaches a 

specific moisture. After being left to stand for a few days, it can be used to make the pieces, with techniques that date back to the first pottery of the Neolithic hill forts.

The “wheel”, as this low potter’s wheel is called, is not more than half a metre high and is made of oak wood. Potters move the wheel themselves by hand while throwing the clay, except in the case of very big pieces, when they need help. The most important tool is the pitela, a willow or cherry wood blade about 15 centimetres long that is used to finish the outside surface of the pieces and decorate them. Linen or woollen cloths are also used in the finishing of the pieces.

The most important stage in this process is placing the pieces inside the kiln. This requires careful attention and experience, as if the arrangement is not correct, pieces may break due to the high temperatures inside. The firing process lasts from seven to nine hours, during which the potter has to stay by the kiln in order to control the intensity of the fire at all times.

Once the pieces are fired and cooled down, their inside is covered with a pine resin called pitch, which makes them waterproof and provides them with their characteristic shine. This laborious process involves holding each piece on a rod and passing it over fire so that the resin inside melts. This is how the pieces get the characteristic dark colour of the Gundivós pottery. 

www.alfombraroja.se

info@alfombraroja.se

46 735 07 47 44


Taggar:

Media

Media

Snabbfakta

Gundivos kommer till Formex (Artesanía de Galicia), hantverkare från Spanien.
Twittra det här