Ceramics is one of the arts that most pleases and fascinates us. The word derives from the Greek term “Keramus” which means scorched earth, burnt land, which refers to its manufacture. In addition to non-metallic inorganics subjected to high temperatures, ceramic results, for example, from the firing of one or more clay. In short, it is the art of making earthenware, with clay as a raw material. But ceramics are not only made of clay. Above all, it is made up of brands and workshops that take it to our homes, to the restaurants we frequent, to the storefronts we admire and to the roots that we sometimes do not know.
Ceramics are part of our imagination and inhabit it, in a unique way. This is only possible thanks to brands such as Bisarro, which recovers a secular art, such as MALGA, whose simple ceramic bowls embellish unique tables and the Popeea Ceramic range, whose straight lines and simple shapes fill our eyes.

©Lino Silva

Bisarro Ceramics

A secular art

Bisarro is much more than a design studio. It is an ideology, a way of representing and making known to the world the value of what is produced in the interior of Portugal. It has in its genesis black clay. Art and the people who practice it
Bisarro Ceramics’ concept is based on the strong symbiosis between the different worlds of design and crafts, which results in unique ideas and pieces. The black clay belongs to a secular art passed between generations of artisans dedicated to the production and commercialization of utensils and decorative items. Strongly linked to the handicraft and creative roots, Bisarro seeks to harmoniously combine the traditional and the modern, while looking for new paths that value and promote Portuguese design. To this end, the base material, black clay, combines other national resources, such as cork, tin and tannery.

MALGA Ceramic Design 

Alentejo at the table

At MALGA useful ceramic pieces are created, “simple objects to use daily, simple but interesting, which make everyday life more beautiful”. So says Mariana Filipe, the founder of the brand. There, all the pieces are made by hand, produced in controlled quantities in a small workshop in Lisbon. But the origin and inspiration go back to Alentejo, to its customs, to the ways of making and using ceramic pieces. The techniques used, in turn, are diverse and depend on the shapes and materials used. Mariana uses plaster molds, ballast technique and manual modeling. But his favorite technique (and the most used) is the potter’s wheel. Much of his work is made to order or the result of projects in partnership with chefs and restaurants. There, at MALGA, it is believed that “all the essential pieces were once created by someone and it makes perfect sense to return to these objects and give them a new life.”

©Sophie Determann

Popeea Ceramic range

“Crafting contemporary ceramics”

Straight lines and simple shapes. So is the Popeea ceramic line. Developed for the Casa Popeea project, a boutique hotel in the historic Hellenic district of Brăila, Romania, it combined the design of Manea Kella with the ceramics developed by Melina Xenaki. The line was influenced by Greek and Ottoman ceramics, recovered and exhibited at the Brăila Museum. The pieces exude an expressive purity, together with excellent durability and versatility. The entire range is handmade in Hackney, London.

Mariana Ribeiro


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