The art of making clay objects dates back to the Upper Paleolithic Period, and it is also quite possible that pottery was discovered independently in various locations. Let’s travel our planet to uncover different pottery techniques and learn more about the cultures that have created ceramic pieces of extraordinary beauty.
The pottery trade is probably the oldest artistic profession in humanity. Some pottery remains located in the Xianrendong Cave in China are about 20,000 years old, and it would not be surprising if the continuous excavations brought to light even older artifacts.
We start our journey in the Mediterranean, specifically in the Autonomous Community of Valencia in Spain. Since 1990, Cermer has been operating in a region with a ceramics heritage that dates back 3,000 years. Our natural environment with an abundance of clay alongside cultural dynamics with the influence of other cultures such as the Phoenicians, Greeks and Arabs have led to the development of a ceramic tradition that continues to be a strong inspiration for creating our ceramic containers today.
At Cermer, we are very proud to be a focal point in a region with a three-thousand-year-old ceramic tradition.
To learn more about the origins of pottery in the Valencia region, we recommend a visit to the Museum of Ceramics located in the quiet town of Manises on the banks of the River Turia. As if it were a journey throughout the history of pottery, here you can discover unique pieces of Gothic, Mudejar or Manises pottery whose golden and blue tones that became fashionable throughout Europe.
Another point of interest to appreciate the pottery culture of the Mediterranean is the city of Segorbe, located less than 50 km from our production plants. Segorbe is famous for producing jugs and pitchers with green glazing and has an impressive architectural heritage, such as the medieval wall and the 14th-century aqueduct.
The Mediterranean ceramic tradition
We continue our journey through the Mediterranean, a landscape that marks our healthy lifestyle, gastronomic customs, and respect for tradition. We honor its values with our Mediterranean Collection. Read more here.
Let’s move now to Italy to learn about Fayenza ceramics, fine earthenware made with a clay-siliceous mixture and a white enamel base. It originates from Faenza, a city in northern Italy not far from Bologna. The technique for creating Fayenza pottery has been related to ancient Egyptian pottery, where figurines, beads, and other small glazed pottery objects have been excavated. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo houses some of these treasures that bear witness to the ceramic tradition of the Mediterranean.
The culture and landscape of the Mediterranean are the mirrors in which our aesthetic values are reflected.
The splendor of South America
You cannot talk about ceramic art without mentioning the wonderful ceramic pieces from South America. In the regions that we know today as Peru, Bolivia or Argentina, totally different styles were developed until local cultures came into contact with European colonizers. Native Americans did not know the potter's wheel and decorated their creations with colored clay slips or pigments. To obtain ceramic containers, baskets, gourds and other fruits were used as molds that were covered with clay and that disappeared with cooking.
Another decorative feature was the so-called negative painting. To achieve this, the design was covered with wax or ash to later immerse it in a colored water bath. Once the material that protected the piece was removed, the drawing could be seen against a colored background. More than 400 pieces of pre-Columbian art of extraordinary beauty are exhibited at the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art in Cusco.
We finish our trip through the fascinating world of ceramics in Japan and with a craft technique that has contributed to disseminating the concept of sustainability that values the durability and reuse of ceramic pieces. We are talking about the Kintsugi technique, which consists of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with a resin varnish dusted with gold, silver or platinum powder.
Today more than ever, this tradition reminds us of the importance of being responsible and making good use of resources and by also combating the culture of use and disposal for a more sustainable lifestyle. Made of clay, a natural and abundant material, any ceramic piece symbolizes durability that, like our containers, can be reused many times.
Ceramic pieces have always been conceived in all cultures to last and express a particular lifestyle.