Practising ancestral pottery in the Moroccan Rif

8 spaces
1200 €/person
7 days
all pictures by Eve Campestrini

The region, located in Morocco surrounded by the pre-Rif mountains, has not yet been affected by mass tourism. The landscapes are intact and the exceptional cultural heritage of the province remains to be discovered.

The artisan's hand takes the clay mixture before being used

The price includes

  • Pottery practice for 5 days, from 9am to 2pm.
  • Food and accommodation at the family agro-ecological farm, in a shared double room for 6 nights.
  • Pottery supplies.
  • Extra activities mostly related to clay in the afternoon.
  • Transport between Fez and the village back and forth.

Dates 2024

This immersive week is organized by our non-profit Association memòri lab, all the funds are reinvested for local projects. memòri lab was created in 2017 whose aim is to commit in favour of the transmission of artisanal gestures and savoir-faire through cultural, social, sustainable actions.

Please note that this is not a tourist trip, nor a workshop but
a cultural exchange. It helps to better understand the cultural richness of the region through the lens of learning this ancient craft. It is important to respect the local culture and its traditions.

As only eight spaces are available per session, we ask each future participant to write a few words about their motivations.

05 May - 11 May
19 May - 25 May

Day by day

Day-1 Arrival in a lush garden

Welcome to Souhad organic farm. The beauty of the landscapes makes this family cottage a unique place. The farm's cuisine mixes regional specialties with those from the city of Fez, famed for its excellent ancestral cuisine. All the ingredients are grown on the farm or are sourced locally; all organic. The farm practices polyculture and mixed livestock and the bread is baked daily in the traditional oven.

The family has two main objectives. Maintaining good agricultural practices without using chemicals, and developing solidarity tourism in the region whilst still respecting local customs and traditions.

Day-2 Hand building

First, we will prepare clay, aduka.

The preparation of clay is a necessary step. Clay made by our own hands becomes precious. It is a question of crushing, sifting and preparing the earth by mixing it with water and grog (clay which has been fired then ground up) until a certain plasticity threshold is reached.

Seated on the ground, we will begin to build our pieces: using both hands and a selection of tools: flat discs, chekaf, and spatulas, mechta, all made of wood. You will mainly use three techniques: coiling, modelling and the "plates" technique.

Day-3 Hand building & clay harvesting

We will continue to model, again and again, to learn these subtle gestures. The pieces are then placed in the sun to dry to prepare them for the next step: polishing.

In the afternoon we go for a walk and harvest clay and mineral pigments in the surroundings with the potter.

Day-4 Polishing

We will polish our pieces using a pebble, adelak, or any other hard and smooth object. Indeed, the pieces are then polished by the potter before cooking because the clay is very porous

The pieces are ready for the slip (a liquid mixture or slurry of clay and/or other materials suspended in water). You will cover them using a cloth, tolok, and a slip of red clay, the iron oxide rich jammar, or white clay, known as biyada.

Day-5 Decorating

Using a brush, arakam, we will decorate our pieces with colors made of mineral pigments. These must be ground in a pestle and mortar before they are ready to use. The black color, mogra, comes from manganese oxide diluted in water.

Day-6 Primitive firing

We will prepare the fire with small pieces of wood, twigs and pine needles.

This is a unique and fascinating stage for the potter; where the magic of the four elements combine. You will be amazed as from air, water, earth, and fire, the pieces are born. It is a real contemplation of the beauty and magic of nature and thus we will give birth to our pieces. We will start an open fire, muakra, covered with dried disc, luguide, made from a mixture of straw and manure. The potter must remain diligent throughout the combustion, paying close attention to the air currents which influence the fire’s blaze. The best results are achieved when the temperature will not exceed 1000 degrees celsius.

Day-7 Discovery of treasures

We will remove our pieces from the fire after a dozen hours of cooking at low temperature and go to visit the souk before coming back to Fès city center.

A woman potter builds by hand a traditionnal plate
A Moroccan potter builds by hand a traditionnal churn
A Moroccan woman potter uses different tools to paint the pottery
A potter from the Rif paints her tribe symbols on a traditionnal jar
Two hands of the potter checks the smoke from the pit fire
The woman potter starts the pit fire
Two hands of the potter checks the smoke from the pit fire
The woman potter starts the pit fire
Two hands of the potter checks the smoke from the pit fire
The woman potter starts the pit fire
Two hands of the potter checks the smoke from the pit fire
The woman potter starts the pit fire

Practical information

  • No particular skills are required in pottery to take part in the immersive week.
  • The chef Maria, Souhad’s mother, and her team will make you discover all the richness of the cuisine of Northern Morocco. They will accommodate your dietary needs (vegetarian, vegan, allergies etc.), let us know in advance.

The price does not include

  • Airfare: We recommend arrival and a departure from Fez.
  • Travel insurance: We require all attendants to have personal travel insurance to cover any medical expenses as a result of an accident or illness during their stay, trip cancellations, flight delays, lost baggage, theft, etc.


  • All sessions require a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the total booking amount to reserve and confirm the participation.
    We offer payments in two parts. Half at the time of the booking and the other half 60 days before departure.
  • Refunds will not be provided for cancellations within 15 days of departure.


  • Your participation allows the potters, the farm’s staff and the farm itself to earn a fair wage.
  • This week is a good environment for the transmission and promotion of this unique savoir-faire among the young generations of the village. It is possible that young girls from the village, having no knowledge in pottery, join the atelier during our stay. This immersive week is one way among many others to make young generations aware of the beauty of this ancient millennial art.
  • The pottery course will be conducted by 4 potters, Khama, Khama, Chadia and Nezha, allowing each potter from the villages around the farm to benefit from a fair income.
  • Two spaces at a reduced rate are available per session for beneficiaries of social minima and one space is reserved and offered to Moroccan artists, please write to us.