Tunis is a village in the Oasis of Al-fayoum in Egypt. The village’s famous pottery school was founded by Swiss potter Évelyne Porret, who brought the craft of pottery to Tunis when she settled here with her husband, Michel Pastore, in the early 1980s. Encouraged by the Department of Social Affairs, she started the school in 1986 to teach pottery to young children. Her vision was inspired by the work of Ramses Wissa Wassef, who believed that every human being is born an artist if given a chance to develop their innate gifts and creativity through the practice of a craft from a young age.
The school’s style of pottery draws upon scenes from daily village life (e.g. palm trees, donkeys, cows, camels, etc). It teaches children the craft of pottery while encouraging them to express their creativity in their own unique way. Nearly all local potters learned and were later taught at the pottery school.
Students produce the pottery which is sold in the store, and they earn a percentage of the proceeds and younger students attend pottery school during weekends. The school also runs a 3-month long summer program for village youth, giving them an opportunity to learn pottery while earning a little bit of income.
Évelyne Porret, now 72-years-old, continues to manage the school with the operational support of Ibrahim Sameer and Marina Leflon. The pottery can be found in the Nagada Showroom in Cairo, NAGADA USA, or by calling 216-765-9886.