Documenting the Material Knowledge Systems of the Last Surviving Traditional Potters in Bosnia-Herzegovina

By Mark Jackson, Richard Carlton, Mirsad Sijaric | 15 October 2021

The project will make a record of the techniques and circumstances of some of the last traditional potters in Europe, located in four centres within a relatively small part of north-central Bosnia. The methods used to record the potters will include video, still photography and a written record made in response to observations and questioning of the potters. As well as the materials and techniques used by the potters, the context of their work in a rapidly-changing social environment will also be recorded, including methods of sale and use of pots by customers. All the potters concerned still produce pottery for the local markets within which they are embedded, using techniques known to have remained unchanged for generations. Most of the potters still use hand-wheels which, although once common in Europe, and thus part of our wider heritage, are no longer used outside four villages in this region. One of the villages still produces pottery tempered with calcite which, although commonly seen in Roman and medieval contexts in Britain and Europe, is now restricted to three villages in this region. The complex process of preparation and firing required in the use of this material will be a particular focus of recording, as will differences between this and the varying methods used by the other potters involved in the project. Discussions with potters about the materials and methods they use will be transcribed and translated to allow their voices and opinions to be heard and recorded.

 

PI:
Mark Jackson

Collaborators:
Richard Carlton, Mirsad Sijaric

Location of Research:
north-central Bosnia-Herzegovina

 

Top Banner Image: Fired pottery ready for market Ularice (2018). Photo: Mark Jackson