Clay is extracted by a craftswoman. One can find this material everywhere in the Sejnane region. The only thing the craftswoman has to do is digging a hole to extract it.
The clay is then washed and cleansed of its impurities, mixed with crushed pottery fragments and finally fashioned by hand. After that it is polished with a shellfish and dried up outdoors.
The potters coat the pottery with natural colors that come from the ground such as white or red ochre clay. They can be found in the nearby hills.
The pottery is thus ready to be fired. It is done on the ground, on dried branches. Cow dung is used as a combustible.
Lastly they decorate their work with lines, dots, crosses, triangles and color them with brown and red ochre patterns.
Satin-finish effect is obtained by smoothing the object repeatedly with a shellfish.
There are two different ways how to acquire the black color of the pottery.
– To darken the object on the surface the craftswomen fire and cover it when still hot with wood splinters.
– To draw delicate patterns the craftswomen use mastic powder. Mastic is a shrub which grows in the Mediterranean area.
This pottery is soft due to the firing it is exposed to. It obtains a semi-ceramic quality and it is ideal in the culinary art. Actually, thanks to a repetitive exposure to the fire this primitive pottery utensil is resistant and it is used to boil food in it.
Its 100% manual production gives the trace of humanity to the craft object. The used raw material is directly taken from nature and could legitimately give it a label “an environment-friendly” pottery. The Sejnane craftswomen’s know how is listed as the Unesco World Heritage.