Located in the Draa River valley in southern Morocco, Tamegroute (also spelled Tamgrout; Arabic تامكروت), is a village whose name in the Berber language means ‘last place before the desert' due to its location at the edge of the vast Sahara Desert. Besides pottery and miracle cures, Tamegroute is also known for its labyrinth of ksour (fortified villages). It was the last stop for the well-known trade caravans who travelled across the desert to Timbuktu with their camels.
Before it became famous for its lustrously glazed ceramics, Tamegroute has historically served as the center of the Nasiriyya order, one of the most influential (and at one time one of the largest) Sufi orders in the Islamic world. The founders of Nasiriyya wanted to raise the status of the village of Tamegroute to that of a "Medina", that is to say to make it a city. They sought out merchants and craftspeople that they had brought from Fes, a city that enjoyed good relations with Tamegroute at the time.
However, today Tamegroute is a little village again, but the beautiful pottery remains its main characteristic.
"Each piece of Tamegroute Pottery tells it’s own unique story."
From Clay To Tamegroute Pottery, The Story Of 7 Families
Within the town square of Tamegroute is the home of seven pottery families who each have their own atelier and oven built of clay. Each family has its own specialty in this art form of pottery making that has been passed on from generation to generation. The entire process is based on pure craftsmanship with virtually everything being done through pure feeling based on years of experience passed on for generations. Not a single measuring device or thermometer is ever used. It is this craftsmanship that results in pottery that is beautifully authentic to the region.
Signature Green Glaze
Except for a few ochre shades, a green glaze is the dominant colour in pottery from Tamegroute. This glaze is made out of oxidized copper and magnesium and it is this 1% copper together with the specific clay out of the Draa river-bed that produces the characteristic green colour. In some cases, the copper is replaced with iron oxide to produce more of a brown/olive coloured glaze. What makes this pottery truly unique is that any other type of clay combined with the same glaze composition would simply not yield the distinct green colour.
Artisan and handcrafted Tamegroute pieces feel special and unique. The ancient techniques used to make the pottery give the glaze infinite variations. From the very spot in the oven where the pot is placed to the heat and the the technique of the potter, every one-of-a-kind piece tells a story. Tamegroute pottery are true showpieces within the interior of a house.
Adding these to your home brings in a thoughtful, purposeful element that make a design feel curated and collected over time, rather than impulsively thrown together to fill a space. A home should feel full of life and movement.