Sumano potteries savoir-faire for Dior Cruise 2020 show décor

Sumano potteries savoir-faire for Dior Cruise 2020 show décor


The house of Dior asked us to make
more than 250 pieces of pottery for the decor of the fashion show. This required
mobilizing 4 tribes with whom we have been working
for several months. My day begins early in the morning,
I have breakfast, I visit my donkey and feed him,
then I go to the atelier. The earth I work with is clay. I get it next to the village.
The firesand, or grog, I get near the forest. Me, I cannot work with anything
other than the local clay. I am used to this clay. This collaboration
with the house of Dior will bring exposure
to this savoir-faire in the hope that continued production
becomes possible, which will earn these women
the income needed to support their families. I gather the clay
and then prepare it by removing all roots and stones
before placing it in the water. The pieces I make
have different purposes. Some are for cooking,
some are for storing water or oil. For keeping flour, olives… I make anything
you might need in a home. Dishes, plates, cooking pots,
beehives, beehive smokers… everything. Then I manipulate the plate
the same way we make bread. When I was little I played
at my mother’s side while she made pieces and I watched her work. Then I tried to make some pieces
and I succeeded, so I continued. My tools are made of goat hair. The black colour is manganese,
a black stone that can be found in the quarries
in the Fes region. White clay is for the slip
and the red is for decorations. My tools are all simple, made from
what can be found in the region. Where I am from I do not know
many women who work with clay. Once there were many of us,
but the tradition is disappearing. I do not know what is happening
in the other regions of Morocco. The sun is essential to my work, the pieces
have to dry out completely in the sun. Then I apply the slip
and after that the decoration. Once the piece is totally dried out,
then comes the day to fire it. If there is too much wind
the fire catches and the heat disperses. I hope that on the day of firing
there won’t be any wind. Primitive ceramic techniques
are rural and made by the women of the Rif region
in the northernmost part of Morocco. It dates back 6000 years
and yet the technique and patterns have remained
largely unchanged over time. After the decoration
it is time to bake the pieces. I have to expose the pieces
to the sun so that they can dry and so that there is is no thermal shock
when they are placed in the fire. Then I prepare the fire. The large pieces are placed in the middle
and I wedge the smaller pieces around them. After that I cover everything
with well dried cow dung, and the fire will burn
all night long. The next day I go to see my production Sometimes I am unlucky
and it’s a catastrophe, all the pieces have exploded. But it can be like that. Today it really is a question
of whether the knowledge is handed down and to discover how to place
a value on this savoir-faire so that it does not get lost. What is exceptional about Houda
is that she is a very young potter and it give us hope for the future
of this form of pottery.

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