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Copperware and Pottery


Increasing use of copperware for domestic purposes led to the development of the coppersmith’s craft, which flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries. Marriage contracts of this period reveal the important place which copperware occupied in the domestic economy.

The most important centre of copperware manufacture was Constantinople, where Greek craftsmen, mainly from the Black Sea, were considered the best. In Greek Thrace, Xanthi and Komotini had the most coppersmiths’ workshops, and there was a repair workshop in Alexandroupoli.

The technique of beating copper continued until 1955-60; and until 1975 copperware was bought only by countryfolk, because it was associated with the traditional rural way of life. Copperware was beaten, simple, and functional, with or without decoration. Engraved dedicatory or proprietorial inscriptions made the copperware recognisable on festive occasions or when the object in question was a gift.

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The pottery workshops in Xanthi, Komotini, Alexandroupoli, Ferres, Soufli, Didymotiho, and Metaxades produced simple, utilitarian pottery, in the form of chimney pots, waterpipes, cooking pots, milking pails, jugs, flowerpots, and vases.

The Greek potters who came from well-known pottery-producing centres on the Black Sea and in Asia Minor and eastern and north-eastern Thrace continued the pottery-making tradition in their new homes after 1922. However, they adapted their output to the established shapes of the local pottery, which met simple domestic needs. The local moneyed classes acquired Canakkale ware mainly from the workshops in Canakkale itself, which was an established pottery-producing centre from 1670 to 1922.

Kostas Voivodoudis in Metaxades and Papavlassakoudis in Soufli are the last potters in Evros prefecture.

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