Pottery is the production of tableware and other useful and decorative objects, typically made of clay or pottery. This craft requires relevant knowledge and skills in the preparation of materials, the use of tools and finesse in shaping, decorating, polishing and firing the products. 1
Historically, pottery can be counted among the oldest known Slovenian crafts, where its history can be traced back to the early iron age. Among other things, Hallstatt culture was characterised by the advancement of pottery, and the community living in the Dolenjska region was at its peak when it came to production of pottery, where the main causes can be attributed to their culture and changes in social structure. Based on the findings from that period, their methods of modeling clay were sophisticated, and the clay itself was of high quality. 2
Later on, some mentions of pottery can be traced back to the 14th century. The significance of social stratification could also explain why pottery was practiced,; it was usually picked either as a trade, or as a sideline.
Interest and demand, and consequently the further development of pottery, declined dramatically in the late 19th century with the introduction of tinware and kilns. In certain areas, especially in the countryside, pottery remained of greater importance after the Second World War due to the use of brick kilns. 3
Pottery has survived as a traditional craft, especially in towns that were close to clay deposits. These towns are known for their rich and unique history of pottery and the different technological processes used to produce pottery. While pottery traditions differ from region to region, there are also differences between family traditions, where the processes used to make and decorate pottery are passed down from generation to generation.
As for the potters themselves, there are about 15 potters who still follow the tradition of their region and have successfully passed on their knowledge and skills through pottery courses. Their efforts not only serve to promote the craft, but can also provide an insight into the history and way of life in different eras. Apart from the impact on culture, pottery and the market for these products have provided a source of income for the craftsmen. 3
1 Britannica. Pottery. Sourced from: https://www.britannica.com/art/pottery
2 A. E. Simič (2016). Konserviranje-restavriranje prazgodovinske grobne lončenine s Kapiteljske njive: diplomsko delo B. Sourced from: https://books.google.si/books/about/Konserviranje_restavriranje_prazgodovins.html?id=P5G9nQAACAAJ&redir_esc=y
3 Ministrstvo za kulturo (2014). Opis enote žive kulturne dediščine. Sourced from: https://www.gov.si/assets/ministrstva/MK/DEDISCINA/NESNOVNA/RNSD_SI/Rzd-02_00032.pdf