We are a small studio located in Nabeul, Tunisia, just a couple of kilometers from the Mediterranean coast. Though our studio dates from 1997, ceramics have been synonymous with Nabeul since the Roman era over 2,000 years ago. "Nabeul" is actually the Arabic version of the Latin name Napoli, like the city of Naples in present-day Italy. The ancient ruins of Roman Nabeul are about 3 km from our studio.
At our studio, we do things the old-fashioned way. We make all our shapes by hand using a variety of techniques, including the classic potter's wheel. We have uploaded videos of this to show the process from raw clay to the finished clay piece called the "bisque". We then paint each and every piece freehand - we do not use any machinery or decals. The only modern elements we use are our kilns and the high-tech paints and glazes. All the modern glazes we use are foodsafe for lead/cadmium and the red clay we use is from the northwest corner of Tunisia.
We currently make 31 shapes and sizes. We then paint those same 31 shapes in all of our designs, such as Honey and Aqua Fish. Right now we are actively painting 9 designs and we will introduce two new ones in 2013. After our expansion of our studio earlier this year, we will be able to paint and maintain stock in 10 to 11 designs at the same time at our US warehouse in Clinton, Washington.
We also make two items in refractory clay - our Cookable Tagine and our Cookable Stew Pots. Refractory clay means the item can be placed directly on the stovetop at low temperature for slow cooking. Our tagines are ideal for preparing authentic North African cuisine which is considered to be one of the healthiest and most delicious in the world.
We invite you to watch our videos and take a virtual tour of our studio and see our production techniques. We are proud of our talented employees and our excellent working conditions and if you do find yourself visiting Tunisia, you would be most welcome to visit our studio. And if you find yourself in the Seattle area, please come visit us on beautiful Whidbey Island.
With a warm climate and a long and gentle coastline, Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa, nestled just across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy. Tunisia has, for over 2000 years, witnessed the passage of Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Turks, Italians, Spanish and French and others. They came as fugitives and adventurers, to conquer and claim, as warriors and missionaries, traders and farmers, each leaving behind a part of their culture. Tunisia has a Western-oriented outlook now in modern times.
As a close neighbor to Europe, their main trading partners are France, Italy and other EU nations. Since independence from France in 1956, Tunisia has placed a huge emphasis on education. This educated people and workforce has led many European companies to invest in Tunisia for their manufacturing facilities. Modern Tunisia also plays a pivotal role in helping bridge the gap between the Muslim world and the Europe and the West. Tunisia's emphasis on moderation and tolerance is one reason why 6 million Europeans vacation there each year.
Unfortunately, Tunisia is not too well known in the US but we would encourage everyone to consider a trip to Tunisia soon, especially after the revolution in January 2011. It would be a great gesture of support.And if you do make it to Nabeul, please stop by for a visit. We're at 49 Avenue Mongi Slim (also shown on some maps by it's former name, Rue de France), not far from the main Souk, just past the government offices and near the cemetery. Tunisia is located directly south of Italy on the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The peninsula jutting out on the northeast part of Tunisia is named Cap Bon. Nabeul is located on the southern side of Cap Bon right on the coast.
Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, is closer to Rome than Paris is to Rome.
Nabeul is about an hour's drive southeast of Tunis.
Our studio is about 2 km from the coast.
We moved from our studio in Avenue Monji Bali in 2012 into our new building, still under construction.
In 2013 we finished work on the second floor, making more room for our ongoing expansion.
Our Clinton, Washington, USA warehouse and offices.