For thirty-five years now she shapes the clay, turns the wheel, she carves, paints and tells stories with her ceramics. Stories that start in antiquity, make a stop in Byzantium, and appear in today’s Thessaloniki, contemporary, charming and glowing.


Her name is Alexandra Theodosiou, and she has written her own history in the art of pottery in Northern Greece. Alexandra was born in Gomati, a village between the second and third leg of Halkidiki. Her grandfather’s land was next to the Develiki beach, overlooking the tiny island of Ammouliani. This is where Alexandra, since she was little, found fragments of pots, the bottoms and handles of jars. Clearly, a neighbouring ancient cemetery with tombs containing pottery travelled in time and sent her its signals.

She studied at the three-year pottery course of the Y. W. C. A. – ΕΟΜΜΕΧ in Thessaloniki and since then, with perseverance and dedication, she has been “serving the art of pottery”.

During these three and a half decades of productive work, she has collaborated with Mount Athos and the Museum of Byzantine Culture in the creation of ceramics, as well as in educational programmes and the curation of exhibitions. Alexandra’s contribution, before she ends a big creative cycle, is her work that has been shown at personal and group exhibitions in Greece and Europe, and mainly her workshop-refuge in the heart of Thessaloniki.

Alexandra’s work has something of the simplicity of prehistoric pottery, the lightness and achievements of the Classical period, and at the same time a clear Byzantine influence. Especially her engravings, the motifs and colours, seem to originate from a powerful and intensely Christian Byzantine Thessaloniki. The three-dimensional birds she makes, the pots, the plates, the jugs, are all soaked in Byzantine eclecticism; the art of a thriving empire, with open roads and where there was room for and encouragement of creative exchanges, when the potters’ creativity resulted in small revolutions in art.

Small subversions & revolutions

Alexandra’s small revolution is expressed as “art and creation as a form of self-awareness. Serving art as an effort to not be exclusively trapped by our senses and by the daily struggle to make a livelihood”. Her other revolution was the location she chose to set, and maintain until today, her workshop. Right next to Athonos Square, where up until the 80s there was a noisy hive of workers in the heart of the city centre. The dozens of workshops gradually started closing and cafés and restaurants started taking over the area. “Thankfully, Melina Merkouri’s (Greek actress and later minister of culture) legislation saved the area’s buildings and preserved a big part of the 19th century architecture,” she tells us, as we stand next to a geometric mosaic on her workshop’s floor.

In recent years, thanks to the perseverance of people like Alexandra, workshops have started to slowly come back to the neighbourhood. An engraving workshop, a graphic designer’s office, a museum shop etc are enriching the pedestrian alleys, and preserving a remnant of the architecture of the past. A small creative effort in conversation with the past, a lovely spot in the city on 43 Papamarkou street.

Sgraffito pottery, Alexandra Theodosiou’s Pottery Workshop, 43 Papamarkou Street, Athonos Square, Thessaloniki, tel. 0030 2310 265039