PEOPLE / CULTURE
In the past, the famous Aegina water vessels were traded all around Greece transferred to the mainland and other islands on small boats (kaikia). This economic activity was one of the most important along with fishing and agriculture. There have been found documents proving the trading of vessels already since the time of the Greek Revolution in 1821.
It is of particular interest how this particular craft affected the island not only economically and culturally but also socially. In the past this pottery tradition attracted many potters who chose the island as their place of residence and they worked there, resulting in the further the development of the artistic pottery.
After the Second World War, in the 1950’s, the use of the refrigerator becomes gradually more and more popular and replaces the use of the water vessels. During this period, the vessels started to be crafted mainly for touristic reasons and be offered as a souvenir. This change of use favored the decoration with colors. As this type of decoration (mostly in glaze) did not allow perspiration (sweating) of the vase, it was not common in previous decades.
Modern glaze decoration includes popular shapes like large anemones, ships with Greek flags, inscriptions, such as “souvenir”, “Aegina” etc. The touristic use of the vessels has continued for a few decades and several traditional workshops operated until the 1990’s. These vessels were the main products crafted on the island to cover the demand from visitors coming from Greece as well as from abroad.