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Southern Morocco: the enchanting green pottery of Tamegroute

Poterie Tamegroute céramique verte Maroc

The small town of Tamegroute is located in Morocco’s Drâa Valley, some twenty kilometers from Zagora. It was originally renowned for its library, which houses works dating back to the 11th century, calligraphed in walnut stain, saffron, henna or gold on gazelle-skin parchments.

village tamegroute céramique et poterie

The town is also home to potters’ workshops, whose objects in incredible shades of green are much admired bycraft and decoration enthusiasts. These workshops are among the oldest in Morocco, dating back to the 16th century. Tamegroute’s pottery is unique to this town alone and can be recognized in a thousand ways. It’s a local artisanal production whose ancestral techniques have remained unchanged to this day. By handing down their traditions and heritage, these families of craftsmen treasure their know-how, recipes and secret ingredients.

Grand pot de jardin marocain Tamegroute avec frise en relief

Theclay used by the potters comes from the surrounding area. Extracted from underground galleries, it is trodden down to be worked. Once turned into bowls, salad bowls, pots, jugs, plates and decorative tiles, it is left to dry in the sun.

It’s an alloy of manganese (contained in kohl), copper oxide and barley flour that gives the glaze on Tamegroute pottery its rich palette, from fir green to olive green. Without the addition of copper, craftsmen obtain a brown/ochre glaze.

Artisan potier marocain au travail dans son atelier

Once the objects are covered with this paste, they are steamed in stone kilns. The mixture of dried grass, wood and palm leaves gives off a thick black smoke.

Cuisson des saladiers et bols verts à Tamegroute

The result is thick, rustic, authentic pottery, with deep, rich shades of green and an uneven, dripping, undulating surface. It’s all these imperfections that we appreciate and that make this Southern Moroccan tableware so charming and authentic.

Vaisselle verte Tamegroute

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