İsmail Arıkan, apottery worker in the Hüyük district of Konya, continues to shape the earthen containers where food is stored when there is no refrigerator and which are indispensable for bridal dowries for about 50 years.
Due to the fact that the soil around Hüyük is very suitable for pottery, until recently the majority of the district was engaged in pottery, but today only İsmail Arıkan and his two sons continue this profession.
Thousands of products of different types made of cubes, pitchers, flowerpots and soil made by Ismail Arıkan are waiting for their customers who will buy them in the garden of the pottery workshop, which has been in operation since 1982.
Arıkan, who is trying to continue the handicrafts that are about to be forgotten, in his pottery workshop, said that pottery was Turkey's industry when he started his career.
Stating that soil products were among the necessities of daily life at that time, Arıkan said, "Soil products were once a must. Now we have come to a time when the new generation does not know the soil products,"
Arıkan said that after mixing the soil with water and turning it into mud, he passed it through his machine and gave it the final shape with his hand and that they made it solid by cooking it in the oven at 800 degrees and made it water resistant.
Arıkan pointed out that pottery, like many handicrafts, has been forgotten due to the lack of interest in the profession by the new generation, and told the story of starting the profession as follows:
"As in many regions of Turkey, in Hüyük, pottery was usually done by Armenians and they did not want to teach it to the Turks. My master learned this job by watching an Armenian for months through a hidden hole. When I started this art, I didn't receive a weekly or monthly salary. I had a daily right to mud. If I take a product out of it, there is an allowance, and if I can't, there is no money."
Arıkan pointed out that pottery has been one of the most popular professions for many years and continued his words as follows:
"Food cooked in an earthen pot was carried to the field or another house in earthen pots. Yogurt was made in an earthen pot. Pickles were placed in earthen cubes. Tarhana, flour, honey, oil, bulgur and wheat were stored in earthen cubes. In Istanbul and in many cities, mains water was distributed in earthen pipes. Pottery used to be a must-have profession, but now it's about to disappear."
Arıkan stated that the kinds of pottery, jugs, pots, stew pots, vases, pots and cubes produced from the soil were the products that should have been in every house at one time, and that the majority of the dowry of the girls who would marry in the periods when there were no white goods yet consisted of earth products.
Stating that no other product could give the taste of the food made in earthen pots, Arıkan said, "There was no refrigerator in the past and earthen jars were used. The earthen jug preserves the properties of the water, gives the water natural coldness. Neither the bottle nor the refrigerator keeps its place. He knows the value of old generation earthen products very well. The new generation he knows nothing but the phone.”
Arıkan stated that thousands of soil products he made had been waiting to be sold in the garden of the workshop for years, and that they mainly produced chimney covers in recent years because the demand was in this direction, and said:
"My advice to parents is that if they know a profession or an art, they should teach it to their children. These crafts are a common value for all of us. The day will come when the value of the soil products will reappear. The most suitable material for human nature and health is soil.”