Tantas vezes os lugares habitam no Homem e os homens tantas vezes habitam nos lugares que os habitam (…) Fiama Hasse Pais Brandăo, Obra Breve
Guimarăes, a Portuguese city placed in the district of Braga (North of Portugal) is usually referred to as the “Birthplace”, due to its historical importance in the formation of our nation. The historical centre of this city was considered Cultural Patrimony of Humanity in 2001 and the city was chosen to be the European Capital of Culture in 2012. We must also point out the fact that the New York Times has considered Guimarăes one of the forty-one places to visit in 2011 and, additionally, the city has been considered one emerging cultural point in the Iberian Peninsula.
Guimarăes has an important pottery tradition, widely documented since the thirteenth century. The pottery activity was located beyond the walled perimeter of the burgh, and it had a utilitarian function, since the pieces were used to conserve, cook and serve food and were used by people who didn’t have many economic resources. Different from this kind of pottery is the “gift small jug”, an emblematic pottery piece of Guimarăes, known by its profuse ornaments, both with printed motifs and with the application of mica in a peculiar way.
Guimarăes is no longer one of the main centres of ceramic production, at least not as it was before, but, nowadays, it still has a group of craftsmen and craftswomen who explore the traditional methods of doing things and simultaneously innovate, being Maria Fernanda Braga one of the names of Guimarăes pottery we cannot leave behind.