Pottery Centres In Crete

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There were four villages in Crete in which a large section of the population lived from pottery, one in each prefecture: Kendri in Lassithi, Thrapsano in Heraklion, Margarites in Rethymnon and Nohia in Chania. We will present demographic and economic data on these villages for the year 1928, as they flourished between the wars and we have been able to collect good information for this period.


Lassithi Prefecture, 10 km north of Ierapetra, population 500, 12 potters, population benefiting from the craft 30%.

It is said that the village of Kendri (“central”) took its name from the fact that it lies in the centre of the plain of Ierapetra. The potters worked there on a permanent basis, producing small vessels, particularly laines (jugs) and pitchers.

The pots produced were transported by boat from Ierapetra to the Mesara plain and from Pachia Ammos to Sitia.

The kilns were of the same design as those used at Thrapsano and located in the immediate environs of the village. There are clay deposits on the western slopes of Mt Thripti and around Kendri.

Each potter had two or three assistants, depending on production levels. In some kilns two potters worked together in partnership.

The mastoras and his assistants split the proceeds.

The shapes of vessels produced in Kendri differ from those found in the rest of Crete in certain details of fabrication. However, the techniques used and the names of tools and vessels are the same.

The centre virtually ceased production in the early 60s.

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