In several villages in El-Wady El-Gedeed (The New Valley), the main income of the people living there is the industry of pottery. Producing handmade vases, cooking pots, home accessories and ashtrays is what people spend their time designing and decorating.
From the very beginning, when men shape the wet clay into different shapes, the items are then placed into a very hot kiln to harden, then eventually to be decorated by women, who spend approximately six hours on decorating the pieces.
As for the girls, their job as designers suit their lifestyle well. With around six hours of working, accompanied by very satisfactory salaries, this job is the best thing they can do. The final pieces sell for prices ranging from EGP 20-EGP 250, based on the effort each piece takes.
Some of the people working in the field inherited the talent from their ancestors, who had the same job for their entire lives. The most famous area for this craft in El-Wady El-Gedeed is Al-Kharga and El-Dakhla valleys.
The history of the pottery industry in Egypt goes back to Ancient Egyptian times. A lot of pottery items were found in Ancient Egyptian tombs, proving this industry’s great age in Egypt.
Photos by Amany Kamal