Zoi and Phil - couple and team at the same time. Our heart beats for handmade ceramics from Portugal. We have made it our mission to combine traditional craftsmanship with modern design and bring a piece of Portugal into your own four walls. The goal is to develop durable products under fair and sustainable conditions.
Phil was taken to Portugal again and again by his father at a young age, perhaps to continue the trade in ceramics one day. In the process, he learned to love the country, the people and the culture. Phil is primarily concerned with purchasing and inventory. What connects Phil with Portugal? The serenity of the Portuguese. Everything is a bit more relaxed. Enviable!
Zoi spent some time in London after graduating from high school. Since then, she has been characterized by her cosmopolitanism and creativity. She is responsible for social media and marketing. What does Zoi love about Portugal? The loud sound of the sea and that you can get fresh fish in any restaurant. And good red wine, of course.
was already founded 25 years ago by Richard Pollmeier, Phil's father. To this day, he imports handmade ceramics from Portugal and supplies the wholesale trade. Why actually Portofino Ceramica? Isn't Portofino a place in northern Italy? Correct! Portofino is where our brand was born.
Since Phil joined the family business, we quickly realized: we want to make our unique ceramics accessible to everyone. We want to take people like you on our journey, inspire and revive handmade natural products.
The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean is often reflected in the designs of our ceramics - that's important to us - because we want to bring a piece of Portugal into your four walls. Before we travel to Portugal and visit the factories, we always have a pretty clear idea of what we want. Once we have decided on a color on site at the factory, we apply it to molds of our choice. From this, samples are created. Once the color has been successfully applied to the molds, we first test the tableware at home for a few weeks to see if the molds are suitable for everyday use and the dishwasher, for example. Often, when we unpack the patterns, we are already so enamored that the decision is quickly made. Rarely are we nsatisfied and have to work again on the design.
We have made it our mission to combine beautiful natural products from traditional craftsmanship with modern design. The result is Portofino Ceramica - handmade ceramics from Portugal. But what does handmade mean exactly? How can you imagine it? How are the shapes and unique color gradients created?
We work with several Portuguese family businesses, all located between Porto and Lisbon. There, our unique tableware and vases are created with much love and care for a humane and environmentally friendly production. No matter how big or small the manufactory is, our producers manage with great passion to combine our design and color ideas with traditional craftsmanship. It gives us great pleasure to develop new things again and again in close cooperation.
The production process
All our products are made by hand. Therefore, even small deviations in shape and color occur, which give our ceramics its character. No two plates are alike, every color gradient on the cups is unique. Stoneware is used as the basis of our products - a fine, white clay. In the first step, round plates are punched from lumps of clay, which are then shaped by hand. This is how the organic shapes are created. In the second step, the finished shapes usually go outside to dry in the sun. The heat of the sun draws the moisture out of the raw material. This prevents the ceramic from cracking in the kiln. Because in the next step, the molds are fired in a kiln at about 1,200 degrees for eight hours. Once the goods have cooled, they are glazed by hand. The so-called reactive glazes provide the unique color gradients that look different on each piece. In the final step, the glazed products go into the kiln once again. After eight hours in the hot oven, the tableware is ready and packed in boxes. When the pallets arrive from Portugal, it's time to unpack and fall in love.