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Safi: The Pottery Capital of Morocco

Chances are if you have a piece of pottery from Morocco it’s signed “Safi” on the back. Safi is not a person’s name, it’s the name of a coastal city where the bulk of Morocco’s pottery is made. In fact this is one of the only things Safi is known for, but what a reputation to have! When my mom was visiting we decided to go to Safi and see the process. From Marrakech it was a day trip and while the roads in some places were not so great it was well worth the trip.

Moroccan Potters in Safi Morocco

Why Safi for pottery? The clay that is used is found in the area near Safi (and also near Rabat) and so for generations it’s been the seat of the trade. I was shocked to learn just how many steps and how much work goes into creating each piece of pottery. Yes, they are nearly ALL made individually and by hand. From the extraction of the clay from the ground, to preparing it, molding it, drying it, shaping it, painting it and firing it – all by hand.

Handmade Moroccan Pottery from Safi

This man is a master potter, although I don’t know for certain, like many Moroccan artisans this is not something he’s picked up later in life. He’s likely been involved in the trade for his entire life. Watching him work was amazing. I have thrown pottery before and it is NOT easy.

Firing kiln for Safi Pottery

There are two ways of firing pottery. This picture is in a gas powered kiln. The heat is more even allowing for less breakage and waste. But each piece still is separated and put in by hand.

Traditional Pottery Kilns Safi Morocco

These domes are the traditional wood fired kilns and while incredibly interesting (and still in use!) they’re not very reliable. Pottery breaks much easier because the temperatures are difficult to regulate. But, some potters who can’t afford to use the gas ovens still use these for their work.

Master Potter Safi Morocco

The best news? Safi is not hot on the tourist visit map. It’s a sleepy seaside town where life goes on in much the way it has for decades. The people we met were welcoming and kind – one even offered to share his lunch with me, and gave us a personal tour of the workshops.

That’s Moroccan hospitality!

Safi The Pottery Capital of Morocco

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Wednesday 24th of January 2024

This is very interesting. There is obviously demand for a ceramics tour of Morocco similar to one about which I heard of Japan.

Amanda Mouttaki

Tuesday 30th of January 2024


Scott Johnson

Saturday 14th of October 2023

A neighbor of Mine Just returned from Morocco, and I was simply bringing them a FedEx package left in hallway, and the woman asked Me to wait for a moment, and then handed Me a Beautiful hand painted Moroccan Plate with Safi on the underneath side. ,I thought it was Very kidn and thoughtful of Her to do that.I immediately displayed it on a shelf with some other fall esque decorations. Made Me look up and find out a bit of History that I was previously unaware of. I am open to other cultures. And Now Would like to extend My appreciation at another time. Kt took something that small/simple to see that there are still people out there that care for Others regardless of culture differences, beliefs..etc. I know I van Count on These neighbors. Ore so than most people that have been in this country their entire lives. The gift of appreciation. My eyes are now opened.


Friday 28th of October 2022

Funny how I stumbled on this post! A day ago I found the cutest little porcelain babouche in a second hand shop in my area (Stockholm, Sweden) and at the bottom it's signed Safi. I was wondering if it was a name or a place in Morocco. Well, now I know!! Thanks Amanda for this informative post! And all the other interesting posts you share, your blog is awesome!

Amanda Mouttaki

Friday 28th of October 2022

Love this! Thank you for sharing the story!!

Netta kafka

Saturday 12th of March 2022

Hello! I’m really looking for a whole week workshop. I’m a very beginner but I’m really interested in improving my knowledge in an intensive week of studying and working with clay. Do you offer this kind of workshop?

Amanda Mouttaki

Sunday 13th of March 2022

No I'm afraid I don't provide any workshops, this post is only sharing about this place.


Thursday 22nd of April 2021

Hello! Thank you for posting about Safi; I was wondering if you know whether the ateliers had either a website or an email? I'm looking to organise a wholesale purchase on my next trip over for export.


Amanda Mouttaki

Thursday 29th of April 2021

I'm honestly unsure. Things may have changed now given the current state of the world but previously few sellers were online directly.