Earthenware products still popular in Avanos
NEVŞEHİR - Anatolia News Agency
Avanos town is regarded as the handicraft center of the Cappadocia region. Clay kitchenware has been produced in the town for thousands of years, and the goal of its modern-day artisans, including Gökhan Özgül (below) is to keep this tradition alive by creating new ideas. Earthenware Turkish coffee pots is one these ideas. Hürriyet photoA very old tradition of producing household goods, especially kitchenware, using the clay unique to the region, is still maintained by local potters in Avanos, located in one of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations, the Cappadocia region.
The town, which is regarded as the handicraft center of the region, draws tourists thanks to local potters, who create new items every day. One of these potters, Gökhan Özgül has recently begun producing earthenware Turkish coffee pots, claiming that they make healthier and tastier Turkish coffee, an important tradition in the country. The coffee pots have drawn great interest from tourists, Özgül says.
Özgül produces his earthenware coffee pots in his own factory, and has been producing pottery for 21 years. He says earthenware cooking vessels have drawn greater interest in recent years because they are healthier to use than metal ones. “That is why I began producing earthenware Turkish coffee pots,” he said.
Clay kitchenware has been produced in Avanos for thousands of years, and the goal of its modern-day artisans is to keep this tradition alive by creating new ideas.
“We may be the last representatives of this handicraft in Avanos. We want this tradition to survive, and this is why we have to renew our craft by producing new and different products. My recent observations have led me to produce this earthenware coffee pot and it is quite popular,” he said.
Besides coffee pots, Avanos’ potters also produce and sell earthenware demijohns, water bottles, yogurt dishes, cheese plates and other items, Özgül said.
Red soil of the region
Avanos overlooks Turkey’s longest river, the Kızılırmak (Red River). The red soil of the region provides local potters with the raw material used to produce the pottery and bricks for which Avanos is famous. The soft and oily clay soil gathered from the mountains around Avanos and old beds of the Kızılırmak is sifted and turned into mud. Pottery is made by shaping the mud with some skill on a foot-powered wheel. The pottery is first dried in the sun and then in shade, and afterward is fired in kilns that heated with straw and woodchip fires to between 800 and 1,200 degrees.