Rhodes is known for its long tradition in ceramics and pottery. The potters of Rhodes were known and their talents recognised throughout the ancient world and there are documents stating that clay bricks from the island were used in construction of the dome of Agia Sofia in Constantinople.
Pottery was cultivated on the island from Mycenaean times and fine examples of local work can be seen in the Rhodes archaeological museum. It is said that in the seventh and sixth centuries BC Rhodes rivalled Corinth in producing Greece’s finest pottery: characteristic of this period are vessels decorated with wild goats, deer and griffins, alternating with chains of anthemia and lotus blossoms; also the Fikeloura style, decorated with partridges in the central band between plant designs. Faience pottery, brilliant enamels on ceramic plates, developed throughout the island and fine examples of this art can be seen in the folklore museums and traditional houses of Lindos, Archangelos and Koskinou.
The island’s pottery factories have, however, hit hard times. Many have closed and those that still survive are struggling as the market for these traditional products wanes. Many fear that traditional Rhodes-style pottery is a dying art with only a handful of families still producing some hand thrown and hand painted pieces mainly for the tourist trade.