Pottery tradition of Magyarszombatfa

Pottery tradition of Magyarszombatfa (2014)

Magyarszombatfa is located in the west side of Hungary, in Vas County, at the southern boundary of the historical Őrség, alongside of the Hungarian-Slovenian border. The pottery tradition of Magyarszombatfa primarily includes the potter families in the village, who’ve continued the nearly 700 year’s old tradition in their workshops.

The clay with really good quality mined here fundamentally determines the pottery of Őrség. It’s an integral part of the heat-resistant pot dishes and has provided the traditional basis for the local potters for centuries. The most characteristic sign of the pottery of Magyarszombatfa is the North Italian faience type left potter’s wheel. The master sits to the right from the axis, so the disk does not take place between his legs. In addition the pottery of Magyarszombatfa is characterized by an archaic pattern, from which some of them can be found somewhere else with different tracing, but there are dishes only typical for this region. The austere vessel forms with early modern origin are the main characteristics of them. In the first decades of the 20th century it was common almost in every household in that region to make clay pots. Later, only the bests continued the pottery tradition. During the 1920’s and the 1930’s more than one hundred potters worked in the villages of Velemér-Valley (Magyarszombatfa, Gödörháza and Velemér).

The symbol of the settlement’s pottery is a harrow walled, thatched potter house which has been built in 1792 and which is now functioning as a country-house museum in the care of the local authority. In this house the historical pottery of the Őrség region and its presence in the peasant household is presented by the village community.

Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO
Elemér Muharay Folk Art Assosiation
Assosiation of Hungarian Folk Artists
Institute of Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Kriza János Ethnographic Society
Hungarian Ethnographic Society
Museum of Ethnography
Hungarian Heritage House
National Cultural Institute