The pottery in Macedonia is still a source of livelihood

There are good and bad things in life, there are ups and downs, new chances, and new lessons. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, it is much more important how many times you are ready to start all over again, to stand firmly on your feet and continue to believe in yourself and keep fighting.

Only in this way you can achieve all your dreams and goals in life, believing in yourself that you can succeed.

Today’s story is about a local hero who, despite the great downfalls, never stopped fighting in life. Stojan Milanovski comes from the village of Vranestica, Kicevo region, after losing his job, he started to be actively engaged in pottery to support his family, a family craft that he learned from his father at the age of 13. With this craft he managed to raise and educate two beautiful daughters and he is proud that he managed to survive and create his masterpieces.

Angelina, one of Stojan’s daughters tells the story of her father, how he learned the craft from their grandfather, a craft that served as a way of existence. With the loss of his job, Stojan began to study and engaged himself in this family craft more actively with his father, until his death in 2003.

Since it is a family craft, Angelina says that it is not possible for a person to work alone, so she and her sister were involved in the whole work together with their mother.

In pottery, there is work for each member of the family, regardless of the age, because, as she says, pottery can not be delayed, and the work must continue.

It is physically a quite hard work that requires strength and precision. The process begins with digging the clay, transporting it to the potter’s workshop, soaking it in water, trampling it with its feet to soften it, grinding it in a rolling machine and kneading. Only then the potter can sit on the potter’s wheel and start working. Many pottery products are not made all at once, but on several occasions. The product to get its final shape and appearance can pass even through ten hands.

The sunny weather allows the already made pottery products to dry faster and be ready for drawing and adjusting with ceramic paints.

Angelina says that in the past, when they didn’t have families of their own, this was a regular duty for her and her sister, and today they help when they can.

When the potter has made a sufficient number of products, they are glazed and prepared for baking in a wood oven. The baking takes 5 to 6 hours at a temperature of at least 700 degrees.

“In the past, when my grandfather was engaged in pottery, they mostly made pitchers for storing water and jugs for milking. Today they have lost their function and they are made and used only as a decoration,” says Angelina.

In the past, the villagers from the nearby villages often exchanged the clay pots for other goods, such as grain and other things. Before Pentecost ,the potters visited the villages in the vicinity of Kicevo, Ohrid, Struga, Bitola, Prilep to offer their products for the  All Souls’ day to save the souls of the deceased.

Angelina says that for many years the pottery was their only source of livelihood and they all worked diligently on the orders from the merchants from Skopje.

With his hard work, their father provided her and her sister with the opportunity to study, and for this opportunity, Angelina says that they will be eternally grateful. Her sister is now a lawyer, and she is a school psychologist.

Her artistic talent that she has expressed over the years in different ways, from two years ago she transformed it into making personalized hanging ornaments from clay and for their promotion she created the ClayArt Facebook page.

Orders have already started arriving at her address, and she is gradually expanding the range of various clay products; she also started designing decorative flower pots, which she and her father designed according to her idea.


One response to “The pottery in Macedonia is still a source of livelihood”

  1. Prekrasno! 🙂 <3

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