Ceramic production in Van, which dates back to the Urartu Kingdom, is being revived by the Ceramic Workshop Application Project in the village of Bardakçı, supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism's General Directorate of Fine Arts.
The Archaeology Department of Yüzüncü Yıl University's (YYU), GENÇDES 2017 program, which is supported by the ministry, backs ceramic production that's been carried out in these lands for the past 5,000 years to help revive ceramic production.
The work in the village of Bardakçı is administered by professors and ceramic production expert Osman Meşe.
Assistant Professor Rafet Çavuşoğlu of the YYU Archaeology Department noted that they teach all phases and techniques of traditional ceramic making to participants along with all the applied phases of the art. He added that they're also introducing new technological developments to this now almost-forgotten art.
"We aim to revive a 5,000 year-old tradition, which continues just with tradition and to bring ceramic pottery production back to life, which has been lost in the village of Bardakçı. With the support of our Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 10 students from
our archaeology department help students learn pottery and oversee all stages from the clay bed to the counter," Çavuşoğlu said.
Now students are at the traditional clay cooking stage.
The project started April 24 and lasts until July 24, and Çavuşoğlu noted that cooked ceramics will be introduced at the exhibition on June 15.
Stating that the preparation stage for ceramics is hard work and that students experienced these stages, he added that experts watched these stages closely.
"Our expert is Osman Eşme of the village of Bardakçı, who is the only expert who continues this tradition around Van Lake. Until the 1980s, this was an active production area, but now he's the only one left. Thus, our Ministry of Culture and Tourism supports him. Our students learn the traditional method with all of its stages," the academic said.
He added that there are 10 students along with the master yet they have a team of 20 who are willing to carry on the project.