31 October 2013

Avanos Friends & Neighbours

After 13 years of visits to the ceramic-focused Kapadokyan town of Avanos, I have made many pretty amazing friends. Thought I’d share some of them.

Ceramic artist Erdoğan Guleç owns the studio where I live and work while I’m in Turkey. His father and grandfather were both renowned Avanos potters.

Şerife Kılıç lives up the road from the studio, at the very top of the town.  Hers is the best view in all of Avanos. Perfect for breakfast in the garden.

Zekeriya Orman lives around the corner. He started helping Erdogan in the studio when he was a boy, and continues to help on occasion, though he now has a growing family & works for a large local hotel.

Roman Is the local computer wizard. He immigrated from Germany about 15 years ago, and lives in the heart of town with his wife, Aysha, and their daughter Natali.

Also from Germany, Suzanna has been a part-time resident of Avanos with her husband Mikail for more than 20 years. Drawn here, like me, by the clay, the ambience, and the people, Suzanna now makes her home here. She’s one of the few people in Avanos with whom I can carry on complicated conversations in English.

 Ali Fuat Illeez is the best carpet seller in Turkey.

Hakan has a large production pottery in the industrial area of Avanos, where his brother, Gökan makes and fires traditional local ware. It is from Hakan’s shop in the centre of town that I get the beautifully decorated bowls with which I am slowly building my dinnerware collection.

 Edip Akbayram is a kind & humble man, and probably the most famous pop star in all of Turkey. Escaping his very public & hectic life, he spends summers at his house around the corner from the studio.

Ayten is Edip’s wife, and a burgeoning ceramic artist who works during the summers in Erdogan’s studio.

Mediha is a neighbour who has known Erdoğan all his life.

Mercimek is the studio dog.  He gets a bath once a year, when I arrive.

Sadly, Ahmet died last fall.  He was one of the kindest, gentlest men, and the most accomplished potter, I have ever met. 

I have many more friends here. These few have made a special impact.

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Thanks for your visit.