Makra’s line of traditional pottery continues to be one of our favourite and best-selling collections. We take pride in being almost the only / among few workshops in Egypt that carries on the tradition of the craft, arguably in all its aspects.
It all started with an idea for a project that supports local and endangered crafts, contributes to the local community and upholds our values of sustainability. Being Egyptian means that we are born and bred food lovers and so it made perfect sense to create a line of cookware and serveware that would become a daily reminder of our inspiring heritage. Filled with excitement, Makra embarked on a journey across Egypt on a mission to find the best pottery artisans in the country to bring our vision to life.
It was in a sub-village of Qena Governorate that we found the best artisans, close to what used to be the capital of Ancient Egyptian civilization. Determined to equip these artisans with the best quality clay, to revive the glory of their craft, our team began extensive research until we finally found our source in the mountains of the Red Sea. It was then and there that Makra was born; a love story between passionate artisans and the generous mountains of Egypt.
On his quest, he found countless potters in different areas of Upper Egypt. However, none of them were using durable materials that would ensure the products stood the test of time. It was only when he had travelled 600 KM south from Cairo, in a village called Sheikh Ali, that he found the craftsman he was looking for. This was near Naqada city, once the capital of Ancient Egypt civilization.
Sheikh Ali is a very small village that belongs to a region which has been specialised in pottery making since the Naqada age of ancient Egypt. Today, thousands of years later, hundreds of micro pottery makers are still actively making products for local consumption across Egypt. However, while this region remained the centre of traditional pottery making in Egypt, unfortunately, the quality of the clay was not as rich, strong and durable as it used to be in ancient times.
This is when our research and development team began to work on the best ways to bring back the quality and durability of ancient and traditional pottery making to complete our vision of making the perfect pottery cookware. After extensive research and experimentation, we finally found our quality clay, which we now source from the Red Sea mountains, 800 KM south from Cairo; to bring to our master pottery maker and his family to work their magic on.
The process may look simple, yet it requires a high level of skill. For starters, the clay is manually ground by our artisan and his team; then tediously filtered so that only the smoothest and softest parts are used. Then it is kneaded with water in big bulks and left for a day to rest before it finally becomes ready to be shaped!
In the next step, our craftsman starts forming the required shape manually on his pottery wheel, creating the pots and serveware which Makra is most known for. At this phase; it is the right thickness and weight of the final product that truly distinguish one good artisan from another.
The fresh pots are left for a few days in the fresh air, semi-dry, before the women in the potter’s family attach the handles (if any). After which the pot is left for a few more days to dry until it is ready for the process of trimming, smoothing, and to finally be put in the fire and glazed then treated with a special – and secret – natural mix made by Makra’s R&D team; giving it Makra’s signature primitive look and feel.
Once done, the pots and plates would finally be ready to travel to their new homes across the world; and be enjoyed by our beloved customers.
If you have any questions about our materials, process, customizations, or sizing; please do not hesitate to get in touch with us through the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.