Among My Souvenirs

Stories of the road

The Poetry of Pottery

I love to support the local artisans when we travel.  Although the pieces are more expensive than their look-a-like copies, we know that handmade craft work is slowly becoming a dying art.  First, it is tedious work.  Hours spent in training often in small family owned shops under the watchful eye of one elder or another.  And second, because you cannot make a large number of items, it creates a market for only those willing to spend the extra dollars and thus the rate of return is not as good.  In short, to make money, the young people everywhere in the world, are moving away from their small villages to become employed in the various aspects of the tourist industry.

Thus, we arrived at a ceramic shop in Avanos, Turkey in the Cappadocia region.   The city is situated on the Red River which accounts for the number of pottery shops there.  As a tourist group, we have the opportunity to watch a demonstration of the creation of a classic hand molded, wheel driven potter at work.  Once the object was formed, it was then fired, and painted, re-fired, polished and ultimately made available for sale.

As we made our way through the shop, coming to each station for information, we noticed that technology still found its way into the ancient practice.  Under her scarf and softly singing to herself, a young woman was hand painting a plate according to the long held family design and rocking out to her tunes.  She was quite happy in her world and apparently oblivious to us.

Escorted into the showroom, plied with hot apple tea, we bought precious gifts, treasures of a memorable day that will always be held among our souvenirs.


Travel, TurkeyMary Anne Harris