In Portugal, a group of artisanal potters expertly encapsulate the southern European atmosphere in the Ando Pot. Made from locally sourced clay, the process of creating the large terracotta pots is a slow and particular one that requires expert hands and years of experience.
The pots are produced at a small factory north of Porto, Portugal, by a handful of freelance potters whose skills stem from local pottery-making traditions that have been passed down through generations. The process begins when locally sourced clay arrives at the factory.
The first steps to create the round-bellied Ando Pot begin with a mound of smooth clay that is cut into pieces using a set of sharp wires. Using a form, the mound is coaxed into a cone-shaped pot that is now ready to be formed by hand.
Several potters work together at once to shape the curves, their steady pressure defining the shape of the malleable material. The generous dimensions of the pots require all artisans to be standing during the process, utilising techniques that are particular to clay work in these proportions. It takes one to two days for each pot to be formed and results in a unique piece, with small differences created by the hands that form them.
Once the desired shape has been achieved, a hand plane is used to smoothen the outer surface. The sand within the clay reacts with the tool to create small holes at impact, adding a lively texture. They are now ready to be placed outside in the Southern European sun to dry.
When they are finished soaking in the warmth and are rid of any remaining humidity, they are moved to the kiln for the final stages of the week-long process. After baking, they are left to cool before a waterproof varnish is applied on the inside. This makes them the perfect home for your potted plants, suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. The Ando pots are now ready to be packed and shipped, bringing the Mediterranean feel to homes around the world.
The final expression of the Ando Pot is charmingly round, a pleasant contrast to its raw, bumpy surface. The warm terracotta tones, oversized dimensions and unique shape of the Ando pot aptly encapsulate the atmosphere of its creation amongst the potters and warm weather of Portugal.