Abdeen Factory for Ceramics: Cheap, Pretty Ceramics in Cairo
10 AM - 10 PM -
Cairo’s artist community of Fustat
has seen quite a revival in the two short years since the opening of the Darb
17 18 Centre for Contemporary Arts. Located next to the art gallery, Abdeen Factory for Ceramic is an
incredible example of what this vibrant community has to offer.
The large turquoise vases of
Abdeen Factory for Ceramic stand out against the complex’s white walls. The
factory also stands out as a dying breed of shops outside of Khan El Khalili where artisan products are crafted and sold in the same space.You can be sure that everything in the shop
is authentically Egyptian and handmade.
The shop’s ceramics range
from 5cm-by-5cm painted tiles to meter-tall vases. Most of the large pieces are
on display outside the shop. In the complex’s courtyard, some terracotta vases
are simple in shape and left unpainted while others are glazed in vibrant
blues. A small number of these larger pieces are intricately painted, such as
one colourful vase with the image of a peacock emblazoned on its surface.
Inside the store, the smell
of wet clay wafts through the open door to the workshop, where hundreds of
smaller pieces are on display. Everywhere in sight, tables, shelves, boxes and
hooks are filled with tagines, tiles, cups and bowls. Painted with desert
scenery, floral patterns and abstract designs; there is a huge variety of
merchandise at this ceramic factory.
There are no price tags on
any of the ceramics; so we suspect that you may be able to bargain on larger
orders, but we were quoted surprisingly reasonable prices on several pieces. A
range of ashtrays cost 10LE each, while several glossy burnt orange teapots in
varying designs cost 30LE.
One of our favourite finds
was a tea set, painted light green with a delicate floral pattern painted
around the edge. For 120LE, the set included a teapot, sugar bowl, creamer and
six cups with saucers. Since you could easily pay three times this amount for a
similar product without the personal touches in upscale shops in Cairo, it is
definitely worth the excursion to visit Abdeen Factory for Ceramic.