Ceramic making involves the shaping of clay into different forms, such as functional items like pots, plates and vases, as well as decorative and unique sculptures, which are then fired at high temperatures to harden them. It is an ancient art form that has been practised for thousands of years, allowing complete creative expression, with techniques often passed down through generations.

From the iconic tiles adorning the facades of historic buildings to the exquisite pottery showcased in local markets, ceramics play an integral role in Valencia’s cultural identity. Influenced by diverse cultural influences, including Moorish, Mediterranean, and Spanish traditions, Valencia’s ceramics reflect a harmonious blend of styles and techniques.

Today, Valencia continues to be a hub of ceramic production, with skilled artisans preserving age-old craftsmanship whilst embracing contemporary innovations, ensuring that the legacy of ceramic artistry thrives for generations to come. Perhaps most notably are the traditional Albarello jars that were originally used to store medicinal herbs, spices and other substances in pharmacies. These then went on to become commonplace in religious rituals, particularly within the Catholic Church, where they were then used to hold sacred oils and incense, as well as substances for ceremonies such as baptisms.

Ceramic making has woven itself into the fabric of daily life for many, thanks to the widespread embrace of studio pottery. This surge in popularity has made it more accessible, catering to both seasoned artisans and newcomers eager to explore their creativity. Independent ceramic studios serve as nurturing spaces where individuals can not only hone their skills but also embark on a journey of artistic discovery with the emphasis placed on the unique and handcrafted essence of ceramics, fostering a sense of individuality and creative expression.

‘Ritual Ceramics’ in Valencia’s Algiros neighbourhood exemplifies such a welcoming environment, welcoming artists of all levels to immerse themselves in the language of ceramics. Under the guidance of Zaïra, a skilled ceramist trained at the EASC ‘Escola D’art i Superior de Ceràmica in Manises, participants discover the joy of creating and the transformative power of artistic expression. Through guided classes and workshops, Zaïra and the team at Ritual Ceramics share their expertise, aiming to enhance lives with the enduring beauty of ceramic artistry.

During the workshops at Ritual Ceramics, you are encouraged to switch off from the outside world and truly focus on your creation coming to life. The workshops vary every month, from bowlmaking where you can embrace the imperfections that come from truly working with your hands, to learning the more precise lathe to make your art. The sessions are guided with care and intelligence, perfect for beginners, and are even open to children when accompanied by an adult, making it a wonderful activity for all. For those who want to take their skill even further, regular classes are available where you can master modelling, decorating and even enamelling techniques.

Report by Abi Kara-Fernandes

Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’

‘Ritual Ceramics’ photo copyright Abi Kara-Fernandes/ ’24/7 Valencia’



C/ del Vinalopó, 12,

Algirós, 46021


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