Tonight, all eyes are turned towards Atlanta where the final of the National Football League takes place this year. For me, however, the hometown of bowls is Pòrtol, the small Mallorcan village with its traditional potteries. When I visited Terra Cuita last week I did not only learn about the production of ceramics but also had the chance to paint my personal super bowl. Super proud to use it for my muesli in the mornings from now on.
More than 150 years of experience, craftsmanship and dedication: That’s how Terra Cuita turns a lump of clay into a beautiful plate, cup or bowl with their unique designs and patterns. Pep Serra Crespí leads the family-owned manufacture in fifth generation. Together with María Belarte he showed me around the workplaces, introducing me to the different types of clay and the stages of production.
We all know the traditional Spanish skillets, the greixoneres, made from brown clay and mainly used for meat dishes, casseroles, paellas or tajines. But the majority of dishes, those bearing all the beautiful colors, are made of white clay. The most popular design are clearly Llengues Mallorquines, which look like tongues of flames. Over time Terra Cuita’s graphic artists added local fruit, seasonal themes or maritime motifs like corals, starfish and other sea animals. They set you in the mood of a sunny place by the sea where you share a meal with friends while a light breeze carries the sound of the waves and the cries of the seagulls.
That day Pep was sprinkling unbaked white plates with black spots, another one of Terra Cuita’s signature patterns called Esquitxat. It was deeply impressing to see that the complete manufacturing, from molding to painting, from glazing to burning, takes place in the small fabrica in Pòrtol with a team of six people only. No matter what color, form or pattern, all pieces end up in the giant ovens where they are baked for two days at 950 degrees. Serious competitors to the blazing fires of Sant Sebastià.
C/ de la Concepció, 5
C/ Portell, 3