At Carthage.Co, each piece of pottery tells a story of tradition, dedication, and unparalleled craftsmanship. Our journey begins in the rich, mineral-laden earth of Tabarka where our premium clay is carefully sourced. A quick Google search of Tabarka clay will tell you that this region is well known for having this quality raw material that pottery artisans prefer. This clay, with its unique properties, is the foundation of our pottery, giving each piece its distinctive strength and character.

clay and sand for pottery

The workshop that crafts Carthage.Co stoneware is near Nabeul, Tunisia; a region that has been producing ceramics for thousands of years.

Once the clay is mined and brought here, it undergoes a meticulous 6-hour preparation process of being mixed with sand, potash, and water. Our artisans, many with over 20 years of experience, clean and mix the clay to achieve the perfect consistency. This critical step sets the stage for creating beautiful, durable pieces.

Our stoneware is crafted using two distinct methods. Plates and larger serving pieces are shaped from soft clay using precision machines and molds. In contrast, other items are made by pouring liquid clay into molds. Finishing molded items involves more steps because the liquid clay must remain in the mold for a precise duration, depending on the piece’s size and weight. Afterward, drying and shaping require extensive manual work before the item is ready for baking. Each piece is crafted with precision and care, reflecting the artisan’s years of expertise and dedication.

Hand Crafted Stoneware

After shaping, the pottery is left to dry slowly and evenly, a process that can take several days. Once dried, each piece is meticulously inspected and refined by hand. Any imperfections are carefully smoothed out, ensuring a flawless finish. Each piece passes through many hands on it’s way to the firing step. The care taken at every level is a testament to the people who work to create the stoneware dishes.

Handmade Stoneware
Zaghwan Stoneware glaze

Our Zaghwan pieces have a striking presence. Pictured here is a Zaghwan bowl in Atlantic.

The next step involves the first firing, where the dried pieces are placed in a kiln and heated to a specific temperature. This initial firing hardens the clay and prepares it for glazing. Once cooled from the bisque firing, the pottery is ready for hand glazing. Our artisans apply glazes using various techniques, chosen to enhance the natural beauty of each piece. The glaze not only adds color and texture but also makes the pottery food-safe and waterproof. Our Zaghwan pieces undergo a 7-step glazing process! 

Stoneware in a kiln

The glazed pottery then undergoes a second firing at a higher temperature, up to 1280 degrees Celsius for approximately 12 hours. This process vitrifies the glaze, creating a smooth, glass-like surface that is both beautiful and functional. After this final firing, each piece is carefully inspected for structural integrity, glaze consistency, and overall finish.

Once approved, the finished pieces are meticulously packed in Tunisia, ensuring they are well-protected for their long journey. The pottery then embarks on a 6-week voyage across the seas to the East Coast of the United States. Thanks to the careful and high-quality packing, breakage is minimal, ensuring each piece arrives in perfect condition, ready to grace your home or store. If you are a retailer, please reach out to us to find out more about getting Carthage.Co pieces into your location or on your website.

Handmade dishes packed for shipment

At Carthage.Co, we take pride in the artistry and dedication that go into every piece of our pottery. From the moment the clay is mined to the final inspection, our commitment to quality and craftsmanship is evident. Each piece carries with it the legacy of skilled craftsmanship and the rich history of the art form, lovingly created by the 90 artisans at the Hamila factory.

We invite you to explore our collection and bring a piece of this beautiful tradition into your home. Embrace the craftsmanship and let each piece of stoneware tell its unique story in your space.