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VIDEO: Playing with Clay with Flaÿou

The board games by Flaÿou are handcrafted by artisans in Sejnane, a region in northwest Tunisia. Cool fact: the pottery skills of the women of Sejnane was inscribed in 2018 on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for the local technique of creating artifacts for the home out of terracotta.

Here, Flaÿou’s founders, Hella el Khiari and Thomas Egoumenidas, share with us how their board games are 100% handmade by the women of Sejnane:

1 The extraction of the clay is done by the artisan. In the region of Sejnane, clay can be found everywhere.

2 The soil is then washed, freed of impurities, then kneaded with crushed remains of used pottery and then shaped by hand.

3 The satinated effect is obtained by sanding the object several times with a shell. The polished object dries for a few days in the open air.

4 The fire is started on the ground, on a bed of dried branches. Cow dung cakes and hay are used as natural burning agent.

5 According to the desired color, the potter ladies coat the pottery with those natural colorants extracted from the ground: white clay or red ochre from the near by hills.

6 To obtain the dark black color, the potter uses a juice extracted from the mastic tree, a tree encountered in the north of Tunisia, that turns black when caramelized.

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