- Encounters with locals
- Off the beaten track
Margarites is a lovely little village inland from Rethymnon. You can't get lost on the way to Margarites: there is only one road into the village. Margarites is the pottery capital. There are rows of shops and workshops everywhere from the big square to the main street.
If the quality of the ceramics varies from shop to shop, I found the potters very welcoming and pleasant: they never tire of explaining their productions techniques in the finest detail. Some potters in Margarites like reproducing Minoan models, whilst others prefer working on less sophisticated pieces. But they all work uniquely with black clay: a locally produced clay with a lovely texture which turns red when baked. To refine the clay, the potters smooth the surface with a pebble.
In Margarites, pottery is a serious business: some perfectionist craftsmen still work with a hand operated potter's wheel, using no electricity and baking their ceramics in a wood oven, just like their ancestors!