May 05 2011 Thursday at 07:11 PM

Anatolian Turkish Pottery

The potteries in Turkey have their origins in Phrygian times. For thousands of years the local clay has been shaped and decorated into objects both utilitarian and beautiful. Their designs reflect the legacy of the numerous civilizations. Today many of the potteries still use traditional methods and tools.

As the forebears have done for centuries, potters continue to prepare the clay, give it shape, fire it, glaze and paint it. First the mixture of clay and kaolin is sieved, then ground into a fine paste. It is then left to rest in tanks, pressed through rollers, and then rests again for a week to ten days to leaven. The result is clay with a pliable texture which responds to the hands of the potters. The potters’ wheels begin to whirl one by one and you can watch the dance of the clay as it narrows into graceful necks, swells and deflates like a balloon, and rises into tapering shapes. Deftly and gently the potters transform the clay into the objects devised in their imagination.