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Heraklion Prefecture, 25 km SE of Heraklion, population 1200, 26 potters, population benefiting from the craft 55%.

The village is named after “thrapsala” or potsherds, found in abundance around kilns. It is the largest potters’ centre in Crete, both demographically and professionally.

The information we have, dating back at least 150 years, conforms that the potters of Thrapsano were exclusively migratory. There were only a very few rough kilns in the village itself, for the use of elderly potters who produced small pots.

The potters of Thrapsano numbered far more pithos makers than those of Margarites, and were generally known for their perfect skill and artistry, acknowledged by all Cretan potters.

The potters of Thrapsano produced all forms of vessel with great skill and copied those used only in certain areas.

The vendemes and mass production in general ended in Thrapsano during the 60s. However, after 1980 increased demand for tourist ware and traditional pots for use as decoration led many potters to build kilns and renew production.

Small kilns dated to the Renaissance have been found in and around the modern village. These were used for the production of glazed ware. The existence of kilns in Thrapsano at that time means that at least some potters were based in the village permanently. However, this does not preclude the practice of vendema for glazed ware. A similar workshop has been found in the Mesara, while there is evidence of others in certain areas of Crete.

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