La Bisbal Pottery

La Bisbal de l’Empordà is the Catalonian capital of the handmade pottery. And the best way to meet their production is along the Aigüeta street,  the main street that you’ll find coming from the town of Figueres and that finishes into the main road to Palamós.

Establecimiento de cerámica artesanal en la calle de l'Aigüeta, en la Bisbal d'Empordà

Pottery shop in l'Aigüeta Street, in la Bisbal d'Empordà

This shopping street gather most traders engaged in the clay industry. The colourful products are exhibited on the street, as well as figures. And this exhibition is made along the avenue, forming a kind of open air museum. Many shops displaying their pottery have their own workshop inside.

La cerámica ampurdanesa es bien conocida por su estilo decorativo

Ampurdan pottery is well-know for the decorative style

The first record we have of the pottery tradition in la Bisbal de l’Empordà comes from the year 1511, through a document relating to an oven where clay pans were baked (clay objects have to be baked to make them hard). It was especially in the second half of the eighteenth century when we see a huge rise in the sector, coinciding with the strong demographic expansion in the village. Finally, after another renewed growth of the sector in the nineteenth century, was founded in 1899 the Ceramists Workers Union (Unió Obrera de Ceramistes), a cooperative that included all workers of ceramics, demonstrating the importance that this artistic activity had in la Bisbal.

Trabajo artesanal de decoración cerámica sobre un plato en la Bisbal d'Empordà

Handwork of pottery decoration on a plate in la Bisbal d'Empordà

Any visitor who is interested in pottery manufacture should know that there are two distinct groups or styles: “botxa” and “pisa”. If the object is made of just one piece then it is “botxa”: vases, statues, etc. If instead the object is made from different pieces of clay then it is “pisa” style: cups, plates, bowls, etc.

Ejemplos de productos de cerámica en la Bisbal elaborados mediante la técnica de pisa

Some pottery objects created in la Bisbal d'Empordà

The village also has a Pottery Museum or Museum of the Terracotta exhibiting traditional pieces, and where visitors can know the development of this art in la Bisbal. Also, the village council and the craftsmen union take great interest in the continuation of this important tradition, organizing school workshops where young artists can develop their abilities and try to innovate in order assure the future of the ceramic art in the la Bisbal.

Obrador de cerámica. Taller de cerámica.

Ceramics workshorp. Clay and handcraft.


Post Author

This post was written by Blanca Pons who has written 13 posts on Costa Brava Blog.

Blanca Pons is Costa Brava's editor and a passionated Ampurdan landscapes photographer. Born in Roses, Blanca never loses the chance to take the best shot. Her best loved place is the Empordà Marshes

2 Responses to “La Bisbal Pottery”

  1. Yukie November 14, 2014 at 2:19 am #

    I am from Japan.

    I really love this “Pottery”
    I will visit next year and want to buy these many.

    How can I bring to Japan?
    Can you transport by ship?


    • Alex Rigola November 14, 2014 at 10:00 am #

      Hola! No problem in taking this pottery with you even by plane, Mr Yukie.

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