When we think of Spanish ceramics our minds tend to automatically reference gaudy tourist dishes, someone’s grandmother’s fairytale figurine collection, arabesque bathroom tiles and even Star Wars: Episode II when Anakin Skywalker escorted Queen Amidala through Seville’s Spanish Square which was transformed into Naboo’s city of Theed in a galaxy far, far away. But, back in Planet Earth, in the fishermen community of Galicia, Sargadelos has been producing porcelain to devoted cult-like followers since the early 1800s.

Photography Coke Bartrina. Words by Miguel Figueroa.

When we think of Spanish ceramics our minds tend to automatically reference gaudy tourist dishes, someone’s grandmother’s fairytale figurine collection, arabesque bathroom tiles and even Star Wars: Episode II when Anakin Skywalker escorted Queen Amidala through Seville’s Spanish Square which was transformed into Naboo’s city of Theed in a galaxy far, far away. But, back in Planet Earth, in the fishermen community of Galicia, Sargadelos has been producing porcelain to devoted cult-like followers since the early 1800s.

Photography Coke Bartrina. Words by Miguel Figueroa.

Antonio Raimundo Ibáñez – a mastermind, who earned his initial fortune working in Spanish infrastructure, founded the company in 1806. Ibáñez took notice of the popularity and sudden halt of distribution of Bristol china in Spain and decided to produce a similar product for the country. After his death, his son continued on with the tradition through great part of the 19th century, until operations were ceased in 1875. Then, in 1968, Sargadelos was re-launched by Spanish Civil War refugees who returned from Argentina eager to preserve Galician culture. In 1972, the Seminario de Sargadelos was founded and it’s been destined to develop and promote ceramic arts. Throughout its history, the company has invited artists such as Camilo Jose Cela to stay with them in a live-in residency. The living areas include a Sargadelos ceramic swimming pool, currently under renovation. Their headquarters also include a well-curated museum that showcases each and every piece created by the company. Every day, in its female led O Castro factory in Cervo, Lugo ceramists from the ages of 21 to 63 continue to strive on the brand’s singularity. Each and every Sargadelos is 100% hand-made with the utmost of care and dedication including their Galician amulets, representing certain Celtic traditions and superstitions. And, although not everyone believes in these folk tales, if you need protection against witches or, for example, those who want to “kill our love”, do us harm, slander us, make us go astray, steal our food, rob us, deceive us with false actions or lead us down a dead-end street you can keep these, and many other amulets close to you so they can be of assistance on your path.

Antonio Raimundo Ibáñez – a mastermind, who earned his initial fortune working in Spanish infrastructure, founded the company in 1806. Ibáñez took notice of the popularity and sudden halt of distribution of Bristol china in Spain and decided to produce a similar product for the country. After his death, his son continued on with the tradition through great part of the 19th century, until operations were ceased in 1875. Then, in 1968, Sargadelos was re-launched by Spanish Civil War refugees who returned from Argentina eager to preserve Galician culture. In 1972, the Seminario de Sargadelos was founded and it’s been destined to develop and promote ceramic arts. Throughout its history, the company has invited artists such as Camilo Jose Cela to stay with them in a live-in residency. The living areas include a Sargadelos ceramic swimming pool, currently under renovation. Their headquarters also include a well-curated museum that showcases each and every piece created by the company. Every day, in its female led O Castro factory in Cervo, Lugo ceramists from the ages of 21 to 63 continue to strive on the brand’s singularity. Each and every Sargadelos is 100% hand-made with the utmost of care and dedication including their Galician amulets, representing certain Celtic traditions and superstitions. And, although not everyone believes in these folk tales, if you need protection against witches or, for example, those who want to “kill our love”, do us harm, slander us, make us go astray, steal our food, rob us, deceive us with false actions or lead us down a dead-end street you can keep these, and many other amulets close to you so they can be of assistance on your path.

But, not everything is hocus pocus; the brand has fantastic abstract figurines, theatrical masks and exquisitely simple china that express Galician culture throughout its history through mythical geometrical abstractions, fauna and flora figures and reliefs evoking the Celtic, Romantic and Baroque eras of the region. Adorned with the signature Sargadelos iconography of waves, spirals and shells in their trademark cobalt blue, bright orange and marine green, Sargadelos’ figures stand the test of time. Pedro Almodóvar is one of Sargadelo’s die hard fans. In his latest film, Julieta, the Spanish director played homage to the brand, predominantly showcasing it in various scenes. And, if you visit any Sargadelos shop you may run into vintage designs from more than three decades ago that are still visually relevantly mixed with newer pieces. Even in dire times, the brand has stood on firm ground to make sure they continue their cultural legacy. Collecting these pieces become a sport of religious devotion that transmit their concepts of design, culture, history and quality and sets them apart from the rest. Simply put; Sargadelos is rare, unique and timeless porcelain that’s to die for.

But, not everything is hocus pocus; the brand has fantastic abstract figurines, theatrical masks and exquisitely simple china that express Galician culture throughout its history through mythical geometrical abstractions, fauna and flora figures and reliefs evoking the Celtic, Romantic and Baroque eras of the region. Adorned with the signature Sargadelos iconography of waves, spirals and shells in their trademark cobalt blue, bright orange and marine green, Sargadelos’ figures stand the test of time. Pedro Almodóvar is one of Sargadelo’s die hard fans. In his latest film, Julieta, the Spanish director played homage to the brand, predominantly showcasing it in various scenes. And, if you visit any Sargadelos shop you may run into vintage designs from more than three decades ago that are still visually relevantly mixed with newer pieces. Even in dire times, the brand has stood on firm ground to make sure they continue their cultural legacy. Collecting these pieces become a sport of religious devotion that transmit their concepts of design, culture, history and quality and sets them apart from the rest. Simply put; Sargadelos is rare, unique and timeless porcelain that’s to die for.