Poured from soul, spun for hope.
Crystal blue waters reflect the warm, golden sun as it spills over the horizon. If it weren’t for the smell of salt from the sea and the gentle sting of the humid breeze on my skin, I might have mistaken it for a dream or painting. The elements of the earth—stone, sea, sun, wind—all come together and surround me like a warm hug. Curiosity and possibility fill the air. I continue this exploration further as I walk along the sandy shores towards the end of the beach and stumble upon a ceramics workshop called Keramika Atsonios. Sifnos is known for its pottery. The island offers its natural resource, clay, abundantly to its inhabitants. With lush green mountains as the backdrop, this workshop is nestled perfectly between the land and sea where all the elements meet.
With its doors wide open, I step inside.
I can instantly feel the roots beneath my feet, grounding me into the history of generations. The Atsonios family has lived and honed their craft here since 1870. With pottery lining its walls and the sound of children puttering about as they take a wheel lesson, the space comes to life, buzzing with energy. As one of the last remaining traditional kilns and workshops, it’s no secret they’re masters of their craft. As welcoming as it is charming, I’m met by the Atsonios family—father, mother, and son, who are as generous as they are kind.
I’m offered a handful of figs picked freshly from their tree outside as I take a look around. The temperatures are sweltering outside, yet I somehow still feel cozy—it feels like home. Antonis, the father, leads the legacy started by his grandfather, and his son, Yanni, continues to carry it forward. Originally, Atsonios Ceramics made kitchenware called “kaikia,” or pots for the oven, and sold them to other parts of Greece. With its ideal location on the water, ships would easily transport their ceramics for restaurants, hospitality, and household use.