Meet a Sifnian potter
Pottery on Sifnos dates back to 3000 BC – a true heritage that still survives to our days. Once on the island you will soon discover the artifacts that are sold in numerous shops and you may be tempted to visit one of the sixteen potteries that you can still find in Sifnos. Many of them offer pottery lessons to visitors that are happy to explore their creativity and come up with unique creations.
Atsonios Pottery was founded in 1870 and is located in Vathi. Antonios Atsonios, whose family had a long tradition of “tsikalades”, the Sifnian name for potters, runs the workshop and together with his son Ioannis, they continue this tradition today. They have a lot to share with people interested in finding out more about this thousand years legacy.
Q: What makes Sifnian pottery so special?
A: The art of pottery is ancient on Sifnos. The ceramics of Sifnos have been famous since ever. What makes them special is the excellent quality of the raw material (clay), since the soil of Sifnos is extremely suitable for the production of ceramic utensils, both to use and decorate.
Q: Why would you invite a visitor to your workshop? What would you show to them?
A: Our workshop is one of the oldest on Sifnos and the art of pottery is passed from one generation to the other with love and great care. The visitor to our workshop will receive infromation regarding all the production stages and will have the chance to experiment, if he/she wishes to, by making a ceramic utensil.
Q: How hard is it to sustain this activity? Are you optimistic about the future of pottery in Sifnos?
A: The profession of the potter is very difficult and in reality the income barely covers living expenses. Things are even worse now with the economic crisis, because the demand for ceramics has decreased. Nevertheless, we are talking about an ancient art that managed to survive and evolve over time. Therefore, we are positive that it will continue to do so in the future, adapting to the new conditions.