Located on a branch of Bahr el-Youssef and runs through a deep clay bed In the western part of Fayoum. The river clay is used for a local handmade pottery , for many, it’s a pottery paradise. Potters of Nazla use a very particular technique to make a spherical pot based on combination of wheel-thrown and hammer-and-anvil. Work is carried out according to very old and traditional methods of producing pottery that have not changed much since Pharaonic times.
Inside the 20 workshop, there is a hole, a kind of hemispherical scoop in the ground. Straw and clay are mixed together, sometimes with ash. The material is in the hole, and it is hammered and turned at the same time to make large globes. The big pots are allowed to dry a little, and it is only then that the vessels are finished on the wheel.
There is no wheel involved, no mechanical process. Only the rims of the large round pots are made on the throwing wheel. These vessels are not a result of mechanical turning but of the turning of the body, the rhythm of the body and the hole in the ground. The pots of Nazla are archetypes, and are therefore in history. Here the history is walking alongside the vessel, on a different but parallel path.
While the Nazla pots are fired,they are fired at fairly low temperatures and the use of straw, mixed with the clay, also inhibits strength. The pots were used in the kitchen to carry and store water and milk, for animal foodstuffs, and for a whole host of purposes. But now the utilitarian aspects of the pots, these are perhaps over. They have less and less utility and there is not a big future. There is a need now to help the potters to develop the pots as forms and shapes rather than objects that are supposed to have a utilitarian value. The potters are friendly and ready to spend time showing the tricks of the trade.
Source: Eco-Tourism Plan, Fayoum.