ROUSSOS CERAMICS (Greece)

How it is made

  • The workshop

    Located in a small village on the Greek island of Kythira, the Roussos family works in a beautiful workshop, surrounded by tomato plants and sunflowers. It is a peaceful and comfortable place where you can see and feel their longstanding relationship with the art of pottery making.

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    The clay

    The Roussos import their clay from Greek’s northern region Thessaloniki, which is known for its outstanding quality. The clay is particularly fine and pure, which makes the ceramics robust and avoids easy breakage.

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    Shaping the vessels

    Panajotes shapes the vessels on his potter wheel. Since age 7 he has been trained by his father and spent significant time experimenting. He has since developed his own personal imprint and shapes a large range of vessels with a steady, skilful hand.

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    Smoothing the vessels' surface

    Gregoria smoothens out the surface of every single vessel with a natural sponge that comes from the island’s surrounding. Rising from the foam of the sea, Kythira is said to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.

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    Drying

    The vessels are left to air-dry, in the wintertime for two weeks and in the summertime for a week. The climate on the island is typical Mediterranean with mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers.

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    First firing

    For two days the vessels are fired in the kiln at 1050°C. They now transform from a light grey to a pure white colour.

  • Hand painting

    Maria hand paints each vessel with delicate lines in different colours. Her background from art school is clearly apparent in her knowledge and experimentation with fire colours and her skilful hands.

  • Glazing

    Gregoria dips each vessel into a special recipe of glaze, consisting predominantly of liquid glass. As a result, each vessel takes on a white coating. The Rousso's secret glazing recipe makes their ceramics more resistant, protects the colours from fading and gives each of their pieces a beautiful glossy shine.

  • Second firing

    The vessels are fired a second time at 1050°C, which is when the liquid glass becomes translucid and the colours reappear. Maria's favourite moment is when she opens the kiln and you finally can see the finished pieces with their bright colours and shiny glaze.

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