On the verge of oblivion: elderly potter promotes know-how in central Iran

May 10, 2020 - 20:54

TEHRAN – An Iranian potter, who is in her late 70s, has held a workshop to revive an indigenous skill of pottery-making without wheel which has passed down from generation to generation. 

“An ancient skill of pottery-making has been revived in the village of Borjak, near the city of Khomein, through the efforts of provincial cultural heritage department over the past two years,” CHTN reported on Saturday.

Potter Ozra Hamzelou, who is a native of Borjak, conducted the workshop to share the know-how of pottery-making without wheel with some 30 local trainees at a small workspace she has established to produce such potteries.

Last year, Borjak’s especial skill of pottery-making without wheel was registered on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Potteries produced in the village are indigenously famous as ‘Do-gou-leh Borjaki’ and they are routinely handcrafted by females.

No potter’s wheel is used for this product and all production steps are done by hands. The raw material is all-native yet very simple hand-made tools are being utilized. No extra coats of glaze are applied… very simple decorations, like diagonal lines, are added on the surface.

“Do-gou-leh” or “Abgoosht” is one of traditional dishes typically served in such potteries in the region. Abgoosht is an incredibly rich stew of lamb, legumes, tomatoes and potatoes.

Pinching, slabbing and coiling are amongst basic techniques that are used for making earthenware without using a potter’s wheel. Goat’s hair are usually being used in crafting the local earthenware to help boost its strength.


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