Ceramic and Pottery Terms in Spanish: A-Z Vocabulary Guide
How do you say “pottery” in Spanish?
La alfarería, pronounced “al-fa-reh-ree-ah” (with an emphasis on “ree”), not only means “pottery” but also “pottery shop.”
Pottery is one of mankind’s most noble arts. You can find pottery in six out of the seven continents in the world, proving it was integral to most world cultures for a long time.
Interestingly, it was the Mesopotamians who invented la rueda del alfarero (the potter’s wheel) between 6,000 and 4,000 BCE. It served to make vases, dishes, jugs, and maybe even sculptures.
In this post, you’ll learn all the necessary Spanish vocabulary as it relates to pottery, including materials, techniques, and applications.
FUN FACT: The word alfarería is one of the more than 1,000 Spanish words that originated from Arabic!
Pottery in Spanish: Moldear Conjugation
While the easiest and best verb to use when making pottery is the irregular verb hacer (to do or to make), another option is moldear (to mold).
Check out this Easy Guide To Spanish Irregular Verb Conjugation.
Mi hermano moldea las piezas muy bien.
My brother molds the pieces very well.
Yo no moldée eso.
I did not mold that.
Chicos, vosotros moldearéis el barro durante 30 minutos.
Guys, you are going to mold the clay for 30 minutes.
Practice Sentences II
De pequeños moldeabamos barro que encontrabamos en el suelo.
When we were kids we molded clay that we used to find on the ground.
¿Moldearías esto por mí?
Would you mold this for me?
Nunca he moldeado arcilla antes.
I have never molded clay before.
Ellos no habían moldeado nada ese día.
They hadn’t molded anything that day.
FUN FACT: The words barro and arcilla are synonyms and both mean pottery clay in Spanish.
The Difference Between Cerámica and Alfarería
“Pottery” in Spanish translates into two terms that many native Spanish speakers consider interchangeable—but for true pottery enthusiasts, they are not.
The word alfarería comes from Arabic and Hebrew, meaning “earth” or “clay,” while cerámica comes from Greek, meaning “made out of clay.”
Pottery in Spanish: Terms A-D
Pottery, as any other art, has its own vocabulary, and it has many words that any pottery enthusiast should learn. Here are a few terms of pottery in Spanish for you to learn. Check them out!
|bisque firing||el bizcochado|
|clay||el barro, la arcilla|
|claybody||la mezcla de arcillas|
No he terminado de enyesar.
I have not finished casting.
El enrollado está listo.
The coiling is ready.
El diseño sobre arcilla está hermoso.
The decal on the clay is beautiful.
Pottery in Spanish: Terms E-K
|earthenware||las lozas de barro|
|engobe||el engobe, el esmalte por inmersión|
|glaze firing||la cocción de envidriado|
|greenware||la cerámica sin cocer|
|handbuilding||la construcción a mano|
¿Ya encendiste el horno?
Have you turned on the kiln yet?
¿En dónde está la frita?
Where is the frit?
No podemos usar el feldespato con esta pieza.
We cannot use the feldspar with this piece.
Pottery in Spanish: Terms P-W
|press mold||el molde|
|primitive firing||la cocción primitiva|
|pyrometric cone||el cono pirométrico|
|recycled clay||la arcilla reciclada|
|wheel||el torno de alfarero, la rueda de alfarero|
La porcelana es una de las cosas más bellas en la alfarería.
Porcelain is one of the most beautiful things in pottery.
Esa pieza necesita una cocción primitiva, no muy alta.
That piece needs a primitive firing, not a high one.
El sello que le pondremos le dará el toque final.
The stamp that we are going to put on it will give it the final touch.
Pottery Museums in Latin America
The pre-Columbian civilizations that lived in Latin America were no strangers to pottery. Their ancestors, historians and archaeologists have found several of their creations, and thankfully, have put them together in museums to showcase them, and for people to see them.
This next list tells you the name of one museum in one Latin American country that showcases pieces of pottery or ceramics.
|Argentina||El museo de cerámica indígena argentina|
|Bolivia||Los museos Tiwanaku|
|Chile||El museo chileno de arte precolombino|
|Colombia||El museo de la cerámica|
|Costa Rica||El museo nacional de Costa Rica|
|Cuba||El museo nacional de la cerámica contemporánea en Cuba|
|Dominican Republic||El museo de la cerámica contemporánea|
|Ecuador||El museo casa del Alabado|
|Guatemala||El museo nacional de arqueología y etnología de Guatemala|
|Mexico||El museo nacional de la cerámica Jorge Wilmot|
|Paraguay||El museo del barro|
|Peru||El museo nacional de arqueología, antropología e historia del Perú|
|Uruguay||El museo del azulejo|
Make Some Pottery in Spanish
Potters are true artists and they are capable of crafting beautiful pieces. According to Forbes, one of the coolest Latin American cities that offers phenomenal pottery is Puebla, in Mexico. In South America, pottery is important in Perú, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Chile. The Mayan in Guatemala did not fall short on this matter either.
Pottery and Spanish are deeply connected and coexist beautifully in Latin America among its different cultures. Before you embark on a pottery trip to Latin America, be sure to learn some Spanish!
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