The province of Taounate is blissfully remote but also has considerable cultural and environmental wealth that could make of it one of the best eco-tourist resorts in the country. But for now its a well kept secret.
The region offers a strong traditional craft culture which is still alive and kicking and that’s what we are excited to share with you. One of the amazing experiences we offer here is a 3 Day (or longer) Pottery Workshop. This is suitable for potters or wannabe potters of all levels.
During this unique travel experience you will journey back in time to witness the daily life of local potters and explore the traditional methods and tools used for making pottery in an artistic workshop.
On the first day we will collect you from Fes (Other start points possible) and drive you to Taounate. The journey is around 2 hours and is partly off road which is why there are no public transport options available.
Taounate is a local market centre situated on the southern slopes of the Rif Mountains. It is located on a plateau overlooking the valley of the Sra River (Oued Sra), near the Gargara Gorges.
You will be staying with Hicham, our local representative, at his family guest-house and after a welcoming tea as is the Moroccan tradition, he will show you around his village and explain a little more about tomorrow’s programme. A traditional and home-cooked Moroccan dinner will be prepared and then as the night closes in, you will be able to get a good night sleep in the quiet rural setting before your activity tomorrow.
Today, the day starts with a one hour trek through Jebl Sidi Masoud trails. You will walk alongside your donkey who is loaded with some pottery making equipment to the pottery workshop where you will meet your teacher. These women are considered to be the local experts in their craft and have input their individual artistic creativity to their product. They will help you discover the different types of rural pottery in northern Morocco and the video link below (The specific type of pottery you will discover on this activity is highlighted at 5.17 minutes into the video) to will give you a strong idea of the range of styles, both of production and decoration, in the Rif.
The tagines, utensils and decorative objects are made from local clay and sold at the local souk. The quantities made are dependant on the season and not on tourism. However, the artisans are very keen to share their unique craft which is in grave danger of dying out without the interest and investment of tourism. After a briefing on work techniques and materials, you will be able to make your own pottery object under the assistance of these guardians of the ancestral craft, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
With the soil under your feet and the sun on your face, you will start by modelling the clay soil and then shape it with ancient techniques. This is all done by hand with no wheels used, no complex tools or fancy glazes. You will be using goats hair brushes and natural pigments and the water comes from the well collected by donkey. This craft is still being practised just as it was from the beginning.
The experience should be calming and relaxing and so is best enjoyed over at least two days to allow time for the firing and painting of the finished pieces.
At the end of the 3rd day, we can return you to Fes (or another location if required). Many clients prefer to incorporate this experience into one of our ECO Tours of Morocco. This way you can see more of the country, combine it with other eco experiences and make the most of your time here with all aspects of the tour taken care of by us.
Contact us for more details of our ECO Tour options.