Near a little town called Cervo in the region of Lugo, in the community of Galicia, located in the north west of Spain lies a fine porcelain factory founded over 200 years ago. This August I attended a three week international ceramics trends workshop at there at Sargadelos.
Where do I start?! An alternate universe full of good people, good clay, good times and beautiful scenery! I almost didn’t want to come back! But here I am now in Madrid, settling in for two weeks before heading off to England.
For starters in this post, I present to you:
SARGADELOS — THE FACTORY
I love discovering the process’ of how things come to be — of anything really, I remember going to a paper factory with my siblings when we were young. I bet they recall it too, we were given earplugs and fluro hats, the noise was outrageous and that sense of discovery about paper — a product we use every single day made an impression on me.
There in Sargadelos I enjoyed seeing the production of numerous half finished pieces — all on their way to becoming cherished objects.
There were many relatively low tech processes used. From a camping stove to heat plastic and make ridged stencils to fit, or specially made stands from timber to hold an object while a handle is being attached.
The design department was my favourite of course. Researching new lines, drawing, colour, form. They had all the different pieces there… sculpture, table ware, packaging. It struck me as much more varied work. Although hands on, and with a marvellous material, working in the decoration team did not seem nearly interesting enough to sustain a healthy interest in the job… for me that is — many people have been working there for 40 years!
People painting, glazing, decorating, joining handles, cutting stencils — I’m not sure what I was expecting… but I was surprise with the amount of work that was done by hand. There are currently 94 workers in the factory.