Kourtzis Art Pottery in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list


Kourtzis Art Pottery is included in the Intangible Heritage list of Greece. It is the 54th member of the national archive that is updated annually. The decision of the national commitee that evaluated our application was announced on 10th of August 2020. It is a nomination that acknowledges the uninterrupted 200 years old tradition of the Kourtzis family in artisan ceramic creations. It is the first entry for the ceramics category in Greece and one of the few worldwide.

Kourtzis Art Pottery participated at the Bazaar of the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art

Kourtzis Art Pottery participated at the Bazaar of the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art on SATURDAY 8 & SUNDAY 9 DECEMBER 2018.
A number of ceramists-artists participated at the bazaar, offering to the visitors the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts such as utilitarian and decorative ceramics, Christmas ornaments, antiques, jewelery and other original works.
Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art: Melidoni 4-6, Kerameikos
Handcrfafted by Kourtzis

This exhibition by the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation aims to showcase aspects of the long-lasting course of the Kourtzis family of potters. This course also highlights aspects of local history, customs and practices, and techniques directly linked with the development of the art of pottery on the island.
Panagiotis Kourtzis marks the start of a long succession not only of generations but also of a series of pottery workshops that developed with the passage of time. The basic workshop he initially set up in the courtyard of his house at Agiasos village passed down to his son Nikolas, and thus handicraft developed to professionalised cottage industry. Elias Kourtzis, of the following generation, experimented with new material and new techniques. His “archaic” works were influenced by the forms of ancient Greek pottery. Yet Nikos Kourtzis was the one who, during the first half of the 20th century, gave new impetus with his typical “blackware” creations. Younger potters such as the sisters of Nikos and their husbands also contributed to production. Earning prizes, commendations and two patents, the Kourtzis-Pantazis workshop prospered significantly. 
During the 1960s with the help of the National Organisation of Greek Crafts (EOEX) a new kiln was built, and thus production reached levels to cover not only demand from Athens but also from the rest of the country as well as abroad. Younger generations with higher studies continue this work following new pathways. Elias Kourtzis and his daughter Elpida manage to find great scope for artistic expression in the very same material, clay.
Agia Paraskevi, GR 811 02 (Lesvos) - Tel: (+30) 22530 32300
Exhibition duration: 6/7/2018 - 15/10/2018
Beyond folklore: evolving the tradition | Ilias and Elpida Kourtzi | TEDxLesvos

Ilias studied Chemistry but he also worked as a pottery maker. Elpida, his daughter, after finishing her athletic studies in England, returned to Greece and started working at her ceramics workshop. Both of them are continuing and evolving a long tradition of their families, as their ancestors are some of the most famous pottery makers in Lesvos! They share that journey beyond folklore on TEDxLesvos stage. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

6 generations of Kourtzis clay artisans and 200 years of family tradition presented in the National Clay Festival 2017

Kourtzis family from Agiassos Lesvos island has a tradition of clay artisans dating back 200 years! 6 generations of this family have served the art of clay pottery and their history will be presented during the 55th Panellinic Clay Exibition taking place in Athens.

The presentation will take place on Sunday 26th of November at the Art and Culture Hall (Maroussi area) and it will be introduced by Nikos Liaros, ceramist and archeologist. Ilias Kourtzis (5th generation), ceramist and chemist will be present as well as ceramist Elpida Kourtzi (6th generation artisan of the family), presenting 200 years of family tradition of Lesvos Island with uniquer photos and documents dating from 1820 to present.

The Kourtzis family tradition has spawned more than 40 craftsmen and artisans involved in clay pottery and clay arts. Many of them have established their own workshops.

  • Initiating with Panagiotis Kourtzis (1820-1895),
  • the tradition lived on: Nikolas Kourtzis (1849-1929),
  • Ilias Kourtzis (1873-1956),
  • Nikos Kourtzis (1907-1998),
  • Ilias Kourtzis (1944-) and
  • Elpida Kourtzi (1981-).