A farewell to Kostas Fifas
and «LEFKES CERAMICS»
The name Konstantinos comes from the Latin word “Constantia” which means “steadfastness”.
So, Kostas stands for “steadfast”.
Such was Costas Fifas, who left us two days before his name day, last May.
Kostas was stability personified.
Old or new? Old. Traditional or modern? Traditional. Left or right? Left.
He was loyalty personified too. A loyal friend. Loyal to bits. He loved people, animals and plants. For the first two, I’m not sure in which order. But if he saw you in need, he would be the best friend you could possibly have.
Kostas took care. He liked to take care. He took care of his aunt, Mrs. Virginia, he took care of his friend Susanna, he took care of our friend Evi until his death. The only person he didn’t take care of was himself.
He also took care of animals – dogs, cats… And his garden at the entrance to Lefkes was always well-kept and beautiful because he enjoyed taking care of plants as well.
What’s more, Kostas was an artist, an artisan, a craftsman. He was a potter. Not a ceramic artist! A potter. He knew the clay and its secrets. He knew its history, its theory and its techniques. He could talk to you about ancient as well as traditional pottery. He had grown up in Athens, he graduated from the Tinos School of Marble Craftsmanship, but chose to live on Paros, in Lefkes, and take over the workshop of his uncle, Yiannis Kidonieus, an award-winning potter, and Virginia, a School of Fine Arts graduate.
“LEFKES CERAMICS” was the oldest pottery workshop on Paros boasting a history of over 70 years. Whenever you passed by the shop, you would find Kostas with the radio invariably tuned to the Second station, leaning over a plate or a vase, painting fish, octopus, boats, flowers, hay or girls swaying in the rhythm of the wind.
A regular sponsor of Parola, always with the same ad. With the usual photo depicting him almost bent in half, painting a plate. He used to read the magazine from cover to cover, perhaps the only one among our friends who would do so. His criticism was harsh, but always fair. Time and time again, we would talk about the feature we were going to do on the history of the workshop. We didn’t make it. Now, he must be narrating it in Heaven, where he surely is, reunited with his friend Susanna and his beloved dog, Kanela…