09 May 2017

Glass and ceramics, one of Hebron's hidden faces

Craftsmanship in various fields: glass, embroidery, pottery or terracotta, handed down from father to son in the Palestinian city, with over 6,000 years of history,

Archaeology, Culture, and other Religions

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An ancient tradition, whose origins are rooted in the past: Hebron, one of the West Bank's leading economic centers, with over 6,000 years of history, with craftsmanship in various fields: glass, embroidery, ceramics, or terracotta, handed down from father to son.

An accomplishment that led the Palestinian city, often in the media spotlight for the tensions caused by the conflict with Israel, to be awarded with the World Craft City Award for the 2016 edition.

HAMDI NATSHEH
Director of Hebron Glass and Ceramics Factory
"The tradition of glass making goes back to ancient times.This industry started in the old town of Hebron in a district called "Harat al-Qazazin" - a district of glass professionals, in fact - where several factories arose and that, during that time, reached the number 14.”

Many of these factories were forced to close, over the years. Among those that stayed open is the Glass and Ceramics Factory, founded over 150 years ago, which is still strong in its ability to export its artifacts worldwide.

HAMDI NATSHEH
Director of Hebron Glass and Ceramics Factory
"The making of ceramics goes through several phases: the first one is called the “cookies phase” and consists of making mud, that is, clay cooked at a temperature of a thousand degrees. The second stage consists in drawing and coloring, and during the third one, glass or silicate is applied."

Mansour, 26, inherited the craft from his father and uncles who, in turn, learned from their grandfather.

MANSOUR NATSHEH
Worker - Hebron Glass and Ceramics Factory
"This profession is inherited, no one can do it except for passion ... Clearly, in the course of time, the phases of industrialization have changed: in the past we produced sand glass, oxides, soy and so on. We now use bottles of soft drinks and fruit juices, obtained by recycling raw materials."

The craft ceramics, dating back, according to the locals, to the Ottoman period, have moved from being a family activity, to one of the main resources of the city. Artwork that aims to travel around the world: to tell about another Hebron and show its often hidden face.