Galip the Potter Shows How It’s Done (includes video)

May 20, 2011 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

Avanos

The town of Avanos shows off its pottery heritage right in the middle of the Red River. (Click to enlarge)

Like our visit to the carpet factory in Çamlik a week or so earlier, the pottery excursion in Avanos was one of those sleeper things: It was just another item on the itinerary, and we had no idea what a cool experience was in store for us.

Avanos, in the Cappadocia region, is known for its pottery, thanks to the clay soil from the Red River that flows through town. (“Red River” is a lot easier to say—and remember—than its Turkish name: Kızılırmak.)

Chez_Galip

Galip shows us one of his specialties: a wine pitcher shaped like the ones the Hittites made.

And perhaps the best-known pottery studio in Avanos is Chez Galip, named for Galip Körükçü, whose studio walls are plastered with newspaper and magazine articles about him. He’s even been on Martha Stewart; the video clip of that appearance is pretty interesting to watch.

Galip told us—through an interpreter, as he speaks Turkish and French but not much English—that he’s at least a fifth-generation potter. Much of his work is a nod to the pottery done by the Hittites in the area as far back as 2000 B.C.

Eventually we got to see the showrooms, where the work of Galip and his students is on display (and available for sale). It was beautiful, and many of us succumbed to the temptation to buy a few items.

But before we did that, we had a chance to watch Galip in action, whipping up a pitcher for us on his kick-wheel. I shot some video of that with my iPhone; in the clip below, he’s about to create and attach the handle—and to see if the lid will fit.

Tina Hay, editor

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