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.