Hi, I'm Lu!

A PhD Student at University of Chicago who loves discovering the world and trying new eats! Hope you enjoy!

Throughout Turkey, there are a number of pottery makers whose skills are passed down from generation to generation.  We went to one of these family businesses in Cappadocia near Göreme Valley to learn about this detailed trade. Beginning with the white clay (Figure 1) made from volcanic ash, we were given a demonstration of how to make pottery from a cast.  The most amazing part was the fact that he made a beautiful platter in less than one minute!

Figure 1. Making white clay platter

Apparently, quartz can be added to the white clay to make the piece stronger.  All of the ceramics in their collection is reinforced to provide buyers with the best quality.  One of their most prized, one-of-a-kind plates in their collection is their generation plate (Figure 2).  Each circular layer of vibrant evil eyes represents a generation of the family.

Figure 2. Generation plate

They have some of the most beautiful patterns in their collections (Figure 3).  But these are quite pricey.

Figure 3a. Painted platter

Figure 3b. Painted platter

The painter working on the platters is also showing off his expertise (Figure 4).  So meticulous!

Figure 4. Painting platter

Then they showed us how the red clay pots are made.  The best part was that they invited someone from the audience to come give it a try.  Jennifer seemed to have a ton of fun, but I believe we all learned that it is a lot harder than it looks (Figure 5)!

Figure 5. Jennifer working on red clay pottery

There is also a more affordable showroom with ceramics that are just as beautiful, although not quite as detailed (Figure 6).

Figure 6a. Affordable ceramic bowls

Figure 6b. Whirling dervishes ceramic bowls

Figure 6c. Affordable pottery

Figure 6d. Affordable pottery

For this particular family, it was a special day because their dog (Figure 7) that had been stolen 3 months ago actually came home itself!  Smart dog!

Figure 7. Dog that came home to its owner

Tip: You can haggle with them, so get the best price you can!


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