We were taken to the location of a family who have produced beautiful pottery for several centuries. Their home, workplace, and showroom are all in one location, up a steep hill from the main road. They must be on the list of many tour operators as there was a large parking lot. At times when a person is on a tour they end up stuck in a place like this with the hope that the tourists will buy a pile of goods worth very little. I do hate it if I get involved in something like that. When I heard we would stop at a pottery shop, I thought that was what we faced. Instead we were taken inside an interesting underground 'factory' 'store' and seated in a small room where an impressive potter showed us how he worked. He used a kick potter's wheel to shape a piece of clay. He first made the lid to a jar and then he made the jar. Since he was such a skilled potter, the lid exactly fit the jar thought the only measuring tool he had used was he own hands as he worked the clay. He offered to let
any of us try the wheel but one look at the clay on his blue jeans seemed to be enough to scare each of us.
We were a small group-Bill and I and the two Brazilian women who were at the same hotels as we were in both Istanbul and in the Cappadocia region and a Turkish young woman who was a guide-in-training plus two Turkish tour company employees so there was plenty of personal interaction with our good guide Farouk. The man showing us the pottery workshop and showroom told us his family had worked in this same underground building for over 200 years. They had a set of patterns which each generation learned to paint on the plates and other pottery objects plus one of the family was a famous skilled artist who was developing new patterns. When we walked through the extensive workshop, my eyes were so delighted and my senses so full of the beauty of the objects that I could hardly believe it. I would have dearly lovely to have owned one or many of the plates. But they were definitely not of the 'souvenir' variety. They were really almost museum objects. A single
plate of the sort I was most interested in cost from $350 to $550 and there were plenty of things that cost a lot more than that. If a SET of dishes had been in that price range I definitely would have come home with a new set of plates. But to buy one plate to sit on a shelf and admire seemed totally outrageous. So, we contented ourselves with making a lot of pictures of lovely items. We hope other people more in a collecting mood will visit this workshop and buy all the items they can produce. They obviously are worth the money. The only sales I saw in our group were to the two Turkish tourist business ladies. They found and bought some of the small, cheaper items for gifts for friends at home. I know they were pleased with their buys but after seeing the best of the best nothing else would have satisfied my 'appetite' for beauty.
The building itself-all dug out of the volcanic soil was quite large and interesting with many rooms. It was so cool in the building that we walked outside several times to warm up. Underground buildings keep a
constant temperature between 50 and 65 degrees winter and summer. This is a good energy saving feature.
All the pottery, plates, vases, in fact, everything made here comes from a local clay dug from a nearby river bank. There are two clays available, one that is white and onet that is somewhat darker.
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