Pottery & ceramics
Pottery has been a part of Mallorca's civilizations since the Neolithic age while Roman and Moorish influences ensured the advancement of techniques. The Hispanic-Moorish pottery style became so successful that it was exported throughout Europe. Palma turned into a major hotspot for pottery in the 15th century, with the area of Sa Gerreria, in the old centre, housing many pottery workshops.
Nowadays, the most important pottery areas are the villages of Pòrtol and Sa Cabaneta of Marratxí, where there are large deposits of red clay that can be used in the workshops. The Museu des Fang (pottery museum) is located in Sa Cabaneta and there are many potteries in the area that you can visit (the Ruta del Fang). There is also a Pottery Fair (Fira del Fang) every March in Marratxi which is hugely popular and showcases a wide selection of pots, plates, tiles and jugs. All of Mallorca's leading potters are represented and prices here are much better than in the tourist shops.
The traditional Mallorcan ceramic piece is the siurell, an ancestral earthenware figures painted in bright colours that double as a whistle. They come in all shapes and sizes (the most common design is a man on horseback) and are painted white with flashes of red and green. They are cheap, children love them, and the artist Joan Miro was much influenced by their brightness and simplicity. Other traditional products include household and garden items such as flower pots, window boxes, candelabras, coffee sets and pipes. 'Gerretes' are clay jars that are decorated with clay braids and are typical of pottery from Manacor and Felantix.
You can find pottery and ceramic shops in many towns and villages, as well as the markets that are held all over Mallorca. Try Plaça Major in Palma for a good selection or take a trip to Portol and follow the 'Ruta del Fang' to visit the ceramicists' workshops and stores.
Also see: Markets in Mallorca, Majorca