LEBRILLOS: A TRADITIONAL SPANISH WORK OF ART
Spain is a country with a vast and complex culture which has evolved thanks to the many different civilisations that have occupied the Iberian Peninsula for centuries. Ceramics have been an integral part of the country's commerce and have served to make people’s lives more comfortable.
Some of the most authentic and traditional ceramic pieces in Spain are called lebrillos [pronounced: le-brie-os], big heavy bowls that come in many different sizes and are very popular in the South of Spain, where, in Granada, they are particularly traditional. Pep has especially fond memories of seeing them in the gardens of family and friends where he used to play when he was young.
The origins of the lebrillo are not fully known but there are testimonies that say they were used during the Egyptian and Roman civilisations.
In Spain, they became particularly popular during the XVI century when the lebrillos were heavily decorated and considered one of the most precious ceramic pieces.
During these times, they were used for personal hygiene, either to wash the feet or clothes, and for culinary purposes as a platter for food or a bowl for fruit.
At present, lebrillos are mainly used for decorative purposes and the traditional pottery style of the Fajalauza, in Granada, is especially well-known. These designs form one of the many elements of Moorish design and architecture that the city is famous that continues to guide and inspire artists, designers and architects all over the world 500 years later.
The lebrillos of Fajaluza are made and painted by hand and, although there are only a few artisan producers, they are becoming more and more popular internationally, decorating the interiors and gardens of luxurious places like Saint Laurent’s home in Tangier.
The design of the lebrillos typically includes a pomegranate, which in Spanish means Granada, in reference to the place where they are from. They can also include other designs like birds, sunflowers and other different flowers.
The traditional colours of the lebrillos are green and blue, sometimes combined together or painted in one of the colours only. In recent years, more elaborate and colourful designs have become available, which can be adapted to decorate any space.
The lebrillos can be found in many different sizes, from as small as a salad bowl to as big as a bath. As a decorative object, they can be placed on the floor with a stand or on a wall with wall mount, combining different designs and sizes.
All in all, they are a unique piece of art that enhances and makes any space, indoors and outdoors, look absolutely beautiful.
We recently were lucky enough to visit Thyme Manor and Farm in The Costwolds where they kindly let us decorate their lovely gardens and take photos of our lebrillos.
We were delighted to see how well the lebrillos fit and enhanced every space where we placed them.
.- El Pepito
Blog post inspired by Gloria Gonzalez from Directorio Deco and elindependientegranada.es