This exhibition is composed of earthenware utilitarian crockery, which belongs to renowned pottery centres established in the north of Portugal. This typology of pottery items was conceived for daily domestic use and meant to address the needs of the family. Thus, here are pieces of black, red opaque and glazed earthenware from the following locations: Parada de Gatim, Barcelos, Guimarães, Bisalhães, Vilar de Nantes, Selhariz, Pinela, Felgar and Gondar.
Although in the past, it was used in all Portuguese houses, the utilitarian pottery started to decline in the Seventies of the last century, replaced by plastic and metal utensils.
“Mistérios” of the Clay
Proceeding with the exhibitions cycle of the most emblematic Families of the pottery craft in the region of Barcelos, the Pottery Museum started 2019 with an exhibition of Local Imagery (Figurado) conceived by the Mistério Family.
The clay pottery manufacture has been, for a long time, the major contributor to the economic subsistence of many families in the region of Barcelos and simultaneously “molded” the social and cultural identity of the Municipality. Besides the constant renewal of potter crafters of Barcelos, the most fascinating part is witnessing that the creative singularity of each crafter is not, by any means, shattered or delimited by the traditional “Know how”. On the contrary, it allowed the exponential growth of artisans that, for their unique and peculiar techniques, not only enhance their families’ pottery heritage, but also at the same time became symbols of great prestige, nationally and internationally.
Moreover, the protagonists of the Mistério Family are a superb example of how to conciliate the perpetuation of a name and memory with a brilliant and singular variety of artistic careers.
Barcelos is one of the founders of the Portuguese Association of Towns and Villages Ceramics
AptCC has the following objectives, among others, defense, enhancement and promotion of cultural heritage and ceramic history, the exchange of experience between members and internationally, and the awareness of entrepreneurs and local communities to the historical significance and equity of ceramics, either in artisanal and industrial shed, and still show its potential for economic and social sustainability of cities and associated villages.
The deed of association of the constitution was signed by the 14 municipalities involved, in a ceremony that was attended by representatives of the European Association of Cities Ceramics.
Besides Barcelos, are part of this AptCC the Startup group the municipalities of Alcobaça, Aveiro, Battle, Caldas da Rainha, Ilhavo, Mafra, Montemor-o-Novo, Redondo, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Tondela, Viana do Alentejo, Viana do Castelo and Vila Nova de Poiares.
On the same day, there was also in Mafra, in the building of the Town Hall, the first general meeting of the association in which the governing bodies were appointed.Barcelos integrates Direction AptCC, chaired by Mafra, occupying the Vice-Mayor, Armandina Salt, the position of treasurer.
“Barcelos is assumed as a major center of pottery and figured in the national context, and was last year recognized by UNESCO as a Creative City in the area of Craft and Folk Art.So for us, it is very important to be at the foundation of this association, “said Armandina Salt.
In this first meeting AptCC was appointed the objective of integration into the European Cities of Ceramics and Grouping was also decided the date of the next general meeting, which will take place on May 29 in Reguengos de Monsaraz.
Traveling exhibition inaugurated
After the formation ceremony AptCC was inaugurated in Mafra National Palace the exhibition “Portuguese Pottery”, which has two pieces of each of the 14 municipalities founders of the association.
The ceramic Barcelos is represented with the Rooster and Chicken Rosa Ramalho and Talha of Soutelo Sisters. The exhibition will be roaming the 14 municipalities that make up the AptCC.
The process of creating the AptCC was launched in early January 2015, at a meeting in Mafra with interested municipalities, followed by a second meeting in Caldas da Rainha, having been completed on 15 March 2016 in Aveiro, the drafting and discussion of the articles of association.
This statutory drafting process has the approval of these founding documents by all camarários executive and municipal assemblies, later submitted to the approval of the Court, under current legislation, a process completed in early 2018.
This initiative, now concluded, was stimulated by the visit of the European Coordinator and Italian simultaneously the ceramic cities, accompanied by the Spanish coordinator in December 2014, which executed a mission of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation of Cities Ceramics, with a view to establishing, in most European countries, the respective cities ceramics associations.