Sifnos Stoneware - Our Logo
The Sifnos Stoneware logo depicts an eagle holding a snake in its beak. This logo has been adopted from ancient Sifnian coins that usually carried the profile of Artemis or Apollo on one side and this eagle on the other. Sometimes accompanied by the letters ΣΙΦ from the Greek name for the island, ΣΙΦΝΟΣ.
Welcome to Sifnos Stoneware where we make handcrafted, hand painted stoneware pottery, i.e. Vases, Pitchers, Mugs, Cookware, Bowls & Serveware, Accessories, Hand Thrown One of a Kind, for everyday use. Our ware is a durable, high quality stoneware that can be used safely everywhere, that is in the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher.
We specialize in multifunctional items that fulfill all your household needs. Cookware and serveware for your kitchen and table, vases, accessories and exclusive hand thrown items for your living room. Choose from a selection of impressive colors and patterns created with our own totally lead-free glazes.
Sifnos Stoneware is a fairly new enterprise, based on a 5 generation long tradition, established in 2006 on the Greek Cycladic island of Sifnos.
A BRIEF HISTORY
2nd generation potter Costas Kalogirou was born in the Greek island of Sifnos. Sifnos is well known all over Greece for its long tradition in pottery and its naturally occurring flameproof clay. He learned the trade on the island and soon moved to Marousi, Athens to work full time.
In a time before there was a water system in Athens, drinkable water would be delivered from Marousi to central Athens in ceramic jugs called "stamnia", many of which would break on the way.
Costas discovered there was a business in making water jugs. With the aid of his eldest son Antonis, he opened a workshop in Marousi along with his four other sons and established a high status in quality pottery making.
In 1933 Antonis had a son, who he named Costas after his father. Costas Kalogirou now the 4th generation wasted no time learning the secrets of the trade. Slowly he started experimenting with colors and new clays.
Move to America
In 1963, 4th generation Costas went to America and started work as a modeler designer for Stangl Pottery. Dissatisfied with a job in an office he left to take the position of plant manager of New Jersey based Chatham Potters which produced high quality stoneware pottery. There he increased production and sales and in 1967 he bought Chatham Potters.
t was in the U.S. where he completed the transition between earthenware and stoneware. He found that it is a more durable product that lends itself for much more creativity especially in the area of uncommon glazes.
Due to natural gas limits (necessary for firing the kiln) in New Jersey he was forced to move the business to Oswego, Kansas in 1976, along with wife Nina Kalogirou and their two little girls. They stayed there for 5 years, only to move back to New Jersey and finally close the business in 1984.
One year later, Costa and Nina gave birth to their son Antonis Kalogirou.
Move back to Greece
In 1991 the Kalogirou family moved back to Greece after almost 30 years in the United States. Costas now retired, Antonis attended school in Athens and went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nottingham in England. Not finding satisfaction in engineering, he decided he wanted to learn his father's trade.
Once he completed his studies Costas, Nina and Antonis moved to Sifnos where they started a family business, Sifnos Stoneware.
In 2006 they opened a workshop in the graphic village of Artemonas, Sifnos. The concept behind which was to produce a high quality stoneware product at low cost and thus accessible to everyone. Nina now involved in patchwork and weaving creates handmade crafts to accompany the pottery.
Stoneware is a high quality clay that is fired at over 1200o C. At this temperature it becomes totally vitrified. This means that the clay has become non-porous, glass-like, and hard as stone. The result is a very durable and chip resistant product ideal for any use. Sifnos Stoneware can be used with confidence in the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher (read more on Use & Care).
Stoneware is also an excellent insulator. It holds heat longer and vice versa. Ideal for cookware, it cooks evenly and keeps food warm.
Here at Sifnos Stoneware, we get our clays in powder form and mix them in our own formula. This way, we can control every aspect of our clay, from durability to firing temperature, and create a strong, long lasting product.
Glaze is the glass-like surface on all pottery that provides the smooth surface required for functional stoneware and allows for easy cleaning. Glaze making is in itself an art. The range of colors and surface finishes that can be achieved is truly limitless.
Here at Sifnos Stoneware we create our own glazes by using various risk-free materials and oxides. The glazes we have come to use are the result of extensive research, experimentation and testing. None of our glazes are store bought or ready made.
Since all our items are hand painted and hand glazed, slight variation in glaze color, texture and finish might occur during firing.
All Sifnos Stoneware glazes are food safe and totally lead, cadmium, and barium free. Our glazes are durable and won't flake off or craze, even after years of use.
Use & Care
Stoneware is a fully vitrified, very durable product that will not break or chip easily. However, it may crack when exposed to direct heat or rapid temperature changes. So we suggest a few guidelines to help you care for your Sifnos Stoneware.
You can use all Sifnos Stoneware products safely in the:
To ensure your Sifnos Stoneware's longevity we urge you:
Modeling and Mold Making: The molds used are all created on site. A prototype is shaped out of plaster on a specially designed wheel. Plaster negatives of the prototype are made and from those, master molds.
Clay Mixing: High quality clays in powder form are mixed with water to create slip. Slip is liquid clay the consistency of heavy cream.
Casting: The slip is then poured into plaster molds. The porous plaster absorbs water from the slip and a wall of clay is created. With time, the wall gets thicker. At the desired thickness excess slip is emptied from the mold. Once the clay starts to stiffen, the mold is opened and the item is then removed from the mold and left to dry.
Trimming: When items have become bone dry, the edges are smoothed off and sponged.
Throwing: Special items are hand thrown on the potter's wheel.
Painting and Glazing: All items are hand painted and dip glazed or spray glazed with colors and glazes made exclusively at Sifnos Stoneware.
Firing: Once glazed, items are ready to be fired. The kiln is carefully loaded and fired to 1250o C over a period of 10-12 hours. The kiln is then let to cool for 24 hours and finally opened. Lastly, the ware is thoroughly inspected for any flaws created during firing.
All the information – company’s presentation and profile – is provided and stated by the company’s owner or manager who is fully responsible.