Famous Pottery of Cappadocia: Avanos and its Famous Red Clay

Cappadocia is an amazing place with its historical and natural wonders. There is so much to do in Cappadocia and pottery making is one of them. Handmade pottery has a historical background, especially in the Avanos town of Cappadocia. In this article, we will have a look at this art and craft in detail. But before we dig into the red clay of this area, there is one important thing to talk about: Cappadocia Travel Pass®.

Cappadocia Travel Pass® is created with years of experience in tourism for you to have the most of the region for less. The idea behind the Pass is to make you love Cappadocia as much as we do. For years, we have been successfully operating Istanbul Tourist Pass® and sharing our love for Istanbul with visitors from all our the world. So we decided to carry our experience to another amazing region, Cappadocia. You will find 35+ amazing attractions, discounted hot-air balloon rides, museum entrances, and more for a single price. Check out here a complete attractions list and decide for yourself. Let’s meet in Cappadocia this year. Now let’s get back to the famous pottery making in this breathtaking region.

Pottery Capital of Cappadocia: Avanos

The pottery produced in Nevşehir's Avanos town is well-known. Avanos is the most well-known manufacturer of terracotta ceramics in Cappadocia. The pottery of Avanos, also known by the names Zuwinasa, Nenansa, and Venessa in antiquity, is a reflection of thousands of years of history. Since the time of the Hittites, Avanos has continuously produced pottery. Since Hittite times dating back to 2000 BC, pottery manufacturing has been practiced in this region and is still done with old-fashioned techniques.

The region's red soil is primarily to thank for the prevalence of pottery. The red clay near the delta of the Red River is ideal for creating pottery. The red clay used to make the iconic works of art has been provided to generations of craftsmen by the Red River, which is also one of Turkey's longest rivers. Red mud and a mixture of red tuff and shaft emerge as the Red River erodes the red tuff layer produced by volcanic volcano eruptions. Under the hands of the masters, this oily and soft clay soil gathered from the Red River deposits and the slopes of the Avanos Mountains becomes a masterpiece.

There is a famous tourist attraction called the Red Tour in the region. On this tour, you’ll see many amazing places and we definitely suggest you join this tour especially if it is your first time so you can have a complete understanding of the central Cappadocia. This famous Red Tour as we call the Wonder of Cappadocia is completely free with Cappadocia Travel Pass®. You can witness pottery making in Avanos along with many great sights.

Avanos' primary source of income has always been pottery manufacture in Cappadocia, which became an heirloom trade by being passed down from father to son, from tribe to tribe, and by adding to itself at each stage. People that cherish and care for their land live in Avanos. The soil is worked by artisans in the region where there are pottery studios on every corner to create beautiful masterpieces.

Cappadocia Pottery Making Process

Although it appears simple on the master's workbench in Cappadocia, creating pottery is actually very difficult. The Avanos Mountains and the stream beds of the Red River are the sources of the soil needed to make pottery. Clay soils that are soft and greasy are sifted and transformed into mud, which is then molded in establishments known as "islik" in Turkish. It is dried twice: once in the sun and once in the shade. After resting for a week, this dough is formed with a wheel or mold. Yet the widely used and conventional approach is the wheel.

The potter places the dough on the wheel. The wheel might then spin swiftly as a result of the person's feet striking the underside of the wheel although nowadays it can be turned by electricity. The potter shapes the dough as part of this rotation to produce the finished product.

Before it dries, the formed pot is painted and embellished. This is referred to as armor in local art. The armored pot's surface is polished with a tool before it has dried entirely. This procedure is known as calendaring.

The armored and polished pot is let to dry in the sun for the appropriate amount of time. In the end, it is gently baked at 800 degrees in large ovens for one to three days and then maintained in the oven until it has cooled. The pots are glazed to give the surface of the pots a glassy appearance when they have cooled. By hand or by scraping, the pottery is embellished with various clay or glaze colors that have been blended with paint. Pottery is being used to create decorative ornaments with trout tiles in addition to items like pots of various sizes, pickle cubes, pot lids, water jugs, and bowls.

Pottery as Souvenir

First and foremost, purchasing pottery is advised as a souvenir from Cappadocia. These items, created using age-old techniques and decorated with regional symbols, will always bring to mind Cappadocia. The cost of a product varies depending on its size and the amount of effort involved in producing it.

The Hittite Sun Jug is the most well-known of these goods. To indicate that this pot originates from the Hittites, the word "Hittite" is used in the product name. The sun was the first god of the Hittites, therefore they fashioned this jug to symbolize him. They left the middle of the jug empty to symbolize the sun. According to mythology, the Hittites filled the jugs with wine or water and placed them in the sun's direction at the highest point in the area before dawn. They thought that the sun favored them when its light came through this jar in the morning. What a great idea for a meaningful gift for your loved ones back home!

Also, you may observe pottery being made in the chez pottery studios in Avanos. It is advised that you try throwing pottery on a wheel in these workshops under the guidance of the master potters. It is advised to avoid the touristy shops where pottery is only sold, instead, visit the ateliers of the craftsmen who continue to mold and shape the exquisite pottery with their skilled hands.

During your visit, you will come across several family-run potteries. You'll discover that the lovely red clay can be shaped into a variety of objects, from ashtrays to more delicate vases. Skilled potters always start from the beginning when creating genuine Avanos pottery on a spinning wheel powered by the foot. These real items use clay that is extracted right from the mineral-rich mud found along the river.

Cappadocia Travel Pass® is here to introduce you to the wonders of Cappadocia. Within the famous Red Tour, you’ll see many craftsmen and you’ll fall in love with the soft red clay of the region. Don’t miss out on the once-in-a-lifetime experience you can have in Cappadocia, plan your trip, buy your pass, and you are good to go!

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