The history of pottery in Morocco is one that stretches back millennia and is closely intertwined with the various civilizations that settled in the region. The arrival of the Phoenicians marked an important milestone in the development of the craft, as did the establishment of the Almoravid Dynasty, and more recently in the first half of the 20th century, under the French protectorate. This is also where the story of Ahmed Sarghini begins. my name is Ahmed Sarghini, I was born in 1947 – 7th generation potter – In 1919, Safi saw the establishment of the first school called EL AMALI (after the founder Boujemaa EL Amali), AMALI was a project implemented by the French and it was the first of its kind in North Africa. It was managed by the School of Ceramics of Safi where a lot of good craftsmen had graduated. One of them was my father in 1919. It was meant to promote the creativity among craftsmen in Safi. Like many in his field, Ahmed was introduced to the craft by his father. He grew up in Safi, which has been at the heart of the Moroccan pottery trade for centuries due to the abundance of mineral-rich clay found in the region. in the 17th and 18th centuries and after, craftsmen tended to come from Fez. They started putting more touches on the products such as polishing and colouring pottery products and brought with them the blue colour made of oxid cobalt and Copper(II) oxide as well and oxides for colours that make the white and the Copper II colour that gives the green color. As you see, all of these men were making natural colours. The city of Safi was known for these beautiful colours… that unfortunately have disappeared from the market. Besides the quality of the clay and the colours used, Something else makes the pottery of Safi stand out from the rest. Safi was known for its paint products. We work in “freehand” without any pre-models to follow we just follow our imagination.That’s why we had beautiful and diverse designs and we try to reinvent them here in Safi, such as with Amazigh and Arabic iconography which are a series of motifs that the maker follows, drawing from a diverse world of different designs and creating new ones. for example; the Amazigh designs, which are geometric motives, as well as the Arabic designs, that are consecutive, it means that the craftsman starts from a random point and create an intricate, unviersal and unique design Like the pottery designs themselves, the future of Ahmed and the city of Safi is drawn in freehand. For now, they are thriving. And as long as their passion for the craft continues to lead the way, this is unlikely to change

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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