Syrian potter preserves family’s 450-year-old craft

Syrian potter preserves family's 450-year-old craft
85-year-old Syrian potter of Armenian origin, Misak Antranik Petros uses an ancient pottery wheel to throw different shapes from clay. [Getty]

The New Arab : Syrian potter preserves family's 450-year-old craftSyrian potter preserves family’s 450-year-old craft

Inside a dusty and dark workshop on the banks of the Jaghjagh river in northeast Syria, Misak Antranik Petros uses an ancient pottery wheel to throw different shapes from clay.

The 85-year-old Syrian potter of Armenian origin said his family has practised the craft for more than 450 years.

“The profession was passed down from one generation to another like an inheritance,” he said. “Now, my son is taking it up.”

His workshop is located inside an ancient mud-brick house near the city of Qamishli, administered by Kurdish authorities who control much of northeastern Syria.

It is cluttered with pots, tools and classically shaped vases, mostly covered in dust.

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Petros and his two sons spend most of their time in the humid space, heated by an old wood-burning stove.

“I dont like to clean the clay off my hands because I like the texture,” he told AFP from his workshop.

Petros was only a teenager when he had to take over for his sick father and become the main potter of the family.

He has since become a master of the craft, and is keen to pass his skills on.

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