5. Clay Deposits, Traditional Mining and Clay Preparation in Cyprus
Gloria London [+]
The traditional technique of clay preparation in all villages was identical until electrical equipment came to Kornos. Older practices for mining and preparing clay prevailed longer in the remote Troodos area. Potters or their spouses beat clay with a bent wooden stick and mixed clay in the traditional skafi. Kornos potters worked with a single red firing clay. In Ayios Dimitrios and Kaminaria, potters ideally combine two clays to benefit from the properties inherent in each, unless they shaped porous-walled jugs. The Kaminaria potter used red clay alone if white was not available. At no time did potters add anything other than water to prepare clays suitable for coarse ware ceramics of all shapes and sizes. In the past 50 years, clay sources have changed three times in Kornos, the major supplier of handmade pots to lowland consumers Pottery is made in a small number of rural communities, but during the winter, most evidence of its production vanishes as villagers repurpose their limited courtyard space to shelter animals.