origin and evolution

Ceramics Origin

The city of Manises has an intense and highly significant history as a producer of ceramics for over 700 years. Lustreware, for which the city is internationally renowned, reached wide circulation in the fourteenth century, but production also includes other product varieties like “obra aspra” or rough work, decoration using copper and manganese oxides for green-manganese, and blue and polychrome work; a series of applied techniques and decorations which have followed changes in fashion and evolution in the industry up to the present day. The origin of the ceramics of Manises can be dated, in the first instance, to the Abbasid caliph of Baghdad (750-945) where certain techniques in ceramics, such as polychrome tin-glazed earthenware and, particularly, lustreware, played a clear role in the court at the service of power. The first productions of lustreware from Al-Andalus have their origin in the Taifa kingdoms, specifically in the eleventh century and in the Taifa of Seville, which imported it from Cordoba. Between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Nasrid Malaga was transformed into a great producer of lustreware. In Manises, the introduction of the decorative technique of lustreware is historically associated with Pere Boïl, ambassador of King Jaume II in 1309 in the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada from where it was imported.

Ceramics Evolution

Evolving techniques and the arrival of the industry confirmed Manises as a production centre of fine earthenware and tiles.

The main production would be of utilitarian household objects like plates and jugs, but there would also be a significant presence of those used as decorative elements; a well manufactured product that has survived to the present day.