Alfonso Hidalgo Góngora is currently the representative of a centenary ceramics tradition in the city of Úbeda. He has dedicated his entire life to the craft of clay, inheriting ancient methods and mastering the technique until he has reached an absolute mastery of the craft, which, unfortunately, few have nowadays.
His workshop is one of the few with traditional furnaces and with someone with the necessary knowledge to fire pieces in them. The manufacture is always artisanal, no piece is exactly the same to the next; they are similar in quality, but always unique.
Alfonso carries out works his grandfather left him as a legacy, some of them related to the field of construction, such as the manufacture of roof tiles, tiles or athanors. Today it is difficult to find these types of elements of significant calibre turned by hand.
He also carries out other ceramic works which are traditional from the region of Úbeda, with their characteristic intense green colour, which he has improved over hundreds of firings.
Moreover, his potter’s workshop stands out because of the manufacture of hundreds of tiling murals spread throughout the Spanish geography: from signage for streets for different cities, representation murals, socles, finishes for dwellings…He works using different ceramics techniques such as the cuerda seca (dry cord technique), glazing bajo cubierta, or the slipware technique.
In the year 1846 is when the founding of Alfarería Góngora takes place by the first potter known within the Góngora family. Alfonso Hidalgo Góngora is already the fifth generation of potters within this family.
Bearing in mind his clear vocation since his childhood, Alfonso learnt both from his family and other families of potters of his city, such as Cerámica Alameda. He studied at the School of Arts and Crafts of Úbeda and at the early age of 16 he re-opened the workshop his grandfather had left him.
Today he is working on the creation of a potter’s manual to materialize everything he’s been able to learn throughout his long professional career and thereby contribute to the preservation of this noble craft which, at the same time, is so bizarre nowadays.