Agost - the ceramics town
In the small village Agost outside Alicante the seven generation potter Emili Boix takes care of his family heritage. He was an established professor of anthropologi when he suddenly was obliged to make an important desicion.
Being the son of a sixth generation potter, Emily had been trained in pottery. His father had wanted him to take over after him, but Emily had other ambitions. He became an academic. But when his father died at old age, he couldn't stand the idea of letting down the craft traditions. Now he continues the work of his forefathers.
Images of the seven generations potters.
His wife who was a lecturer at the same university, made the same choice. She became the art painter that decorates the pottery. The ceramic lamps in the picture below can be divided into two. If you lift the top part, you can insert a t-light. Villages with tall colorful houses are a common motive.
Emili is inspired by the great artists and often makes copies of reknown sculptures by Picasso (as that in the image under) and Salvador Dalí.
In a separate part of the house the original potter's oven is preserved more or less like it was when it was in use. It's a small room which was warmed up from the floor below. The room was filled up with pottery and closed with bricks. After four days of intense firing, they were done. Then the temperature had risen to 1100 degrees.
Emili regularly attends school classes and allows students to try themselves as potters. Your children will probably get the same opportunity if you visit him.
The married couple Boix have got a less stressful and more rewarding life after exchanging academic career with old crafts. Although they have more orders than they can manage to deliver, he still took time to talk with me for an hour about Picasso and Dali, Franco and the Civil War and a lot of other subjects. This work should have been delivered yesterday, he says with a smile shaking his head. He can't understand why municipalities who have ordered this work are so impatient.
As we leave the pottery workshop, we have our arms full of pottery. We have of course bought some, but most are gifts. Money is not important for Emili. The joy of bringing the traditions on and meeting people is more valuable.
Agost is famous for its many potters and pottery workshops. Large ceramics factories were the most important industry in the city. Agost is far enough away from the coast to escape tourism's destruction. That is why you still can se traces of the traditional Spanish way of life.
You certainly don't see many expensive cars here, but you could find an old tractor.
More excursions: www.turideer.com
The excursion of the week: Agost
Suitable for: All ages. Fun for kids to make their own pottery. A lot of fine crafts for adults. Combine with a trip to Novelda which is only a mile away.
To do when you are in Agost:
- Go to the pottery museum, El Museo de Alfarería.
- Walk around the sleepy streets of the village
- Visit the workshop of Emili Agost
- See the old Goudi-inspired church in Novelda (See poste about Novelda).
Getting there: Follow the AP-7 from Altea / Benidorm towards Alicante. Take the A-31 towards Madrid when you arrive at the exit to El Altet airport outside of Alicante. Follow A-31 to the exit CV-820 towards Agost (same exit as to Novelda). Follow CV-820 until you reach Agost. Keep straight through the center. Once you've got out of the center, you'll find the pottery workshop of Emili Boix on your left hand (see the picture below the map). Park along the way outside.
This is what the pottery workshop looks like from the road.