Yesterday morning, I had breakfast with my friend Serife. As I said, she lives at the very top of the town, and has a fabulous view. I'm having my morning tea in the hammock. Her garden is rudimentary, and looks pretty sad by Sunshine Coast standards. Every tree and plant needs a well around it to hold the water it's given. And typical gardening tools include a pick-axe to break up the rock-hard clay soil. Composting is not common here, so there isn't much organic matter around to add to the soil. Kitchen scraps and compostables go to the chickens or the neighbourhood cats & dogs.
But, considering the harsh conditions, Serife does a pretty good job. These aubergines will soon be ready for picking. She also grows sweet and hot peppers, summer & winter squash, tomatoes, & herbs, with miscellaneous flowers sprinkled throughout. There are fruit trees (apples, apricots, and mulberries), grape vines, and nut trees. This unusually hot and dry summer has apparently taken its toll on the veggy crop.
I see this lady every day on my way to the market. She spends a lot of time sitting outside her house talking to friends and neighbours. & she loves to pose for pictures!
This crew lives just up around the corner from the studio. They come every day to ask "Uncle Erdogan" for clay to play with. Most times there isn't any for them. But occasionally he gives them each a small ball to work with. Sometimes they bring their work back to the studio for him to fire, which he always does, with great care.
This triptic is unfortunately a little hard to see. Each part is about 12" square. It is my impression of Avanos -- houses all higglty pigglty, tucked against the hillside at every imaginable angle, caves & ruins sprinkled here and there, all against the backdrop of rugged red clay mesas and mountains, with the Kirzilirmak (Red River) running in front.
I've finished building my last panel today, and will stain it tomorrow morning. The wood arrives tomorrow for the panel backings, and we begin the process of mounting the pieces. In a few days we'll fire the rest of the work, and complete the mounting. All the panels will be sealed to protect them, since they aren't glazed. Then, we'll ship them up to Istanbul for the opening on October 1st.
All for today.