Collection by Aaron Britt

Julio Miranda Thiel's Workshop


I had the chance to visit master potter Julio Miranda Thiel's workshop at the Beldi Country Club just outside of Marrakech. I met Thiel at a dinner a few nights before and he graciously invited me out one morning to see how he marries traditional Moroccan craftsmanship—the town of Safi is the hub of the country's considerable ceramics trade and turns out loads of potters—with more modern forms. Thiel himself studied design in Chile and Argentina and told me that his education was "thoroughly modernist." Here's what I saw.

Here's Thiel standing outside of his pise workshop.
The majority of Thiel's work is either for private clients (this stuff is for the Frenchman Peirre Berge, who was Yves...
This collection is for a hotel and again has an appealingly minimal aesthetic.
These striped pots were made for a Paul Smith clothing store in Brussels.
There are a pair of potter's wheels in the back of the studio. Here one of Thiel's workers throws some small vases.
Some of the firing takes place in this electric oven, though Thiel also uses a gas oven and various sunbaking...
These are for the Royal Mansour but have yet to be fired.
Here's a much broader swath of what Thiel and his crew create.
In this collection, as in much of his work, Thiel took his inspiration from Berber design.
On our way out, Thiel pointed out these rustic pots as having both strong forms and a more minimalistic design.