Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ceramics II

In the workshop when the pieces have dried for a few days they get straightened and cleaned up and made ready for the first firing.

And here is a whole whack of little tajins, a traditional cooking vessel. These are of course for tourists, intended for salt and pepper vessels, not for cooking big meals for large families.

Finished pots outside the 'factory', I love the shape and colour of these pieces.

And inside gigantic decorative vases/pots, reaching to m chest. Very impressive, but one sure needs a very large house (possibly with no looms) to have room for these pieces.

ceramics I

Next stop was a ceramics place where we could see some of the producion. In the yard behind the store they produced the clay. That is, they brought in a very dry clay from the Atlas Mountains near by and this man mixes it with water until it has the exact right consistency.

Square platters drying in the sun. Many square platters indeed, they were probably 6x6 inches is size.

Her is the kiln, which will hold about  800 pieces when full. since it was empty we got to go inside.

Looking down on my toes I can see the space underneath the firing room where the fire is lit which heats up the ceramics to the desired temperature.

It takes about a day to get there, a day of firing and then a day for cooling.

Chimney holes in the ceiling, looking up.
This is quite a large production spot, the first one of its kind near to Agadir.

Going south out of Agadir, through towns and rural bits

Impressions of houses, people, and surroundings as we drive on looking forward to this exploratory kind of day on the road.

Colours, there are colours on most houses and if not these bright greens and purples then at least there are interesting patterns in the wall, on the doors, in the shudders by the windows. Lots to look at and try to retain.

And then we drove across a dried up river bed and ..... there were sheep grazing, ah, that made me feel very happy. At this point I didn't know that I would actually have the great fortune to see quite a few sheep on my travels around Morocco.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Brave fishermen in tiny boats

Next stop was part of the port, where smaller fishermen and their boats hang out. My first reaction was to smile, there were so many small motorbikes or scooters lined up along the road. This is the preferred mode of transportation for these hard workers.
 The boats are not very big, probably weighing in at a  little over 1000lbs (please don't quote me on that) the men working these boats use long lining to catch their fish, and they go out three men to a boat for 3-4 days in a row,  and no there are no women doing this this is a man's world.
 This is where they land all the fish they catch, set bait on the next line of hooks and get ready for another bunch of days off shore.
Young mackerel, there were also boxes of sardines and fish heads and guts from a for me unknown kind of fish. It was all very interesting and stirred many thoughts in my head.
And here we are out on the little almost submerged pier, in the back ground three words which light up the hill side at night. The top word God, lower left, King and lower right, Country. The Moroccans love their king, he keeps their country of many different ethnic groups in one piece by being the top ruler of all.

When we got back ashore from this pier our guide had found a place where they were selling pieces of cooked fish and he had secured a taste for each of us, it was very fresh, very warm and very tasty indeed.

Building sturdy and large wooden fishing boats

Our luck was that we met up with a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable tourist taxi driver, by the name of Mantasif. He had lived both in Germany and the States for years and had been a taxi driver in both those places too. Now he is back in Agadir and very happy to be doing what he is doing.

We set out on Friday morning at ten o'clock, giving our First Mate Kim a ride into town. We were off on a day excursion all by ourselves to celbrate that in less than a year from now we will have been married for 25 years.
The first stop was close by, we had driven past this place in the dark the previous night and wanted to see in the daylight how people worked in this particular ship yard. A lot of the wood used here comes from 'Africa' as they said, any where outside Morocco, and it is sawed into lumber and shipped still in the original shape of the tree trunk. It was amazing, they were BIG trees, not little skinny ones. Beautiful hardwoods and had I had the room and had it been permissible I would have brought quite a few pieces home in the suitcase for spindles, that is for sure.

A truck load of eucalyptus wood, harvested somewhere not too far away in Morocco. Didn't have the chance to sniff it, or rather I was too busy looking and photographing to remember to use my nose right at that point, so I don't know if the wood has the same enticing scent as the leaves and the oil of the eucalyptus tree does.

One enormous fishing boat towering above us and really it was towering, they all were, each person looking small and diminutive beside these beauties.

And so the ship yard made First Mate Kim, Soren and I very happy, wood galore, building galore, what more can one ask for at the beginning of a warm and sunny day.

Another magnificent creature which I had to photograph since she was red, anything red goes I would say or orange or ..... as long as the colour is magnificently brilliant and bright.

An irresistibly cute smaller version, and in spite of the lack of colour on this baby I could still rejoice in the perfect shape of her rib cage.