The Diccionario de la Real Academia de la Historia (1802) states that:
The centre of the town is surrounded by many well cultivated gardens which produce various types of tasty vegetables, excellent asparagus and much borage, from whose flower a large amount of preserves are made. These preserves are known throughout much of the Kingdom [of Spain] for their excellence and because of the pots in which they are kept as jarrillas de Oñate [little Oñati jars]
And we wonder: Who made these "little jars" and where? According to the dictionary:
Because of the mineral wealth, there is also an abundance of wells of good and delicate fresh water and mineral springs in the area, most impregnated iron and lead, and the ore is used in the potteries to varnish or glaze the earthenware.
Further on, the dictionary states:
There are also large quarries of gypsum, jasper and rubble, and copious amounts of clay for the potteries and tile makers.
What potteries? Where? Certainly the area was ideally suited for a pottery industry, with a supply of clay, lead ore for the glaze, pots.
We now know that the following potters existed in Oñati:
- Dionisio and Ezequiel Boie. In the mid nineteenth century. They were the sons and grandsons of potters from Narbaxa.
- José de Urzelai, whose first wife was Josefa Lazkurain, and whose son Paulino Urzelai Lazkurain, born in Oñati in 1824, succeeded him in the trade. José died in Oñati in 1866 aged sixty-nine; Paulino, in Oñati in 1867.
- Juan José Enparanza was born in Bergara and according to the death certificate of his son José Luis (aged twenty-two) was living in Oñati in 1867.
- And Roque Martín Olalde e Irazabal, born in Oñati in August 1820. He was the son of Pedro Olalde and Joaquina Irazabal. We have no further information about him except that in 1871 he was still working as a potter in Oñati.
Antonio Isasa, born in Oñati was living in Vitoria in the first half of the nineteenth century, and we know for certain that his son was a potter. It seems quite likely that his father may also have been a potter in Oñati.
- Jose Urzelai, Josefa Lazkurainekin ezkonduta zegoena, eta ondoren bere seme Paulino Urzelai Lazkurain, Oñatin 1824an jaio zena. Jose Oñatin hil zen 1866an hirurogeita bederatzi urte zituela. Paulino ere Oñatin hil zen 1867an.