As mentioned in an earlier post, we found a pottery teacher for the kids in the neighboring town of Avanos, a place known for the red clay that comes out of the Kizilirmak river. The teacher is named Ertas; he started at the wheel when he was about seven and now continues to run what was his father’s studio. In addition, he’s a high school history teacher and a driver’s license examiner. Pretty much, he’s a one-stop shop, this guy.
Having a lesson each week is not only good for the kids, in terms of learning a new skill, but it’s beneficial for all of us to have a commitment outside of the house each week and to feel like we’re availing ourselves of an activity for which this region is renowned. A bonus during each lesson is the conversation with Ertas, as he has more English than most Cappadocian Turks and is–how to put this non-judgementally?–more of an academic thinker than most Cappadocian Turks. Put another way: he reads, and, therefore, he has a depth and breadth of facts and critical thinking that aren’t present in those whose daily lives are built around sitting on the street and drinking tea twelve hours a day. Their habits stem, er, more from the oral tradition.
At any rate, we’re delighted Haakon and Allegra have this chance to learn from a man who is very aware of the larger context of individual human experience. Plus, he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty.
Here are a couple of videos of the kids at the wheel: