Macsabale Symposium Ankara, 2017
The path of pottery and the road of symposiums that I have been following for so many years with great interest and joy, once brought me to the edge of the moon, somewhere in the East, in the heart of Ankara, Turkey! Beyond the walls of the old city, I saw the modern, the new, the skyline of today desperately struggling to impose itself on the past. In vain, though. The simplicity of the past tiptoed to meet us in the beautiful rooms of the archaeological museum of the capital where we were guided. Wandering through its halls, it was like seeing a contemporary pottery exhibition, only that the labels under the exhibits referred to 3000 thousand years ago. Everything I see and admire has already been depicted. Sounds extreme? Perhaps not. We are inspired by our forefathers. They lead us like their genuine children and smile when we say we introduce the new.
Back to the symposium, though … through the whole fortnight I cohabited with ceramists from all over the world, creative ceramists of high technical training and knowledge. I learnt a lot by those wonderful people. Amazing jobs were done. I lived an unprecedented experience. I understood how the Anagama furnaces have been operating for centuries now in the Far East. Massive ovens as far as western proportions are concerned. We baked in an 18-meter Macsabale wood fired kiln at 12600-12800 C. We used clay from Turkey and Germany (creaton), having at the same time, the ability to create the glaze of our choice.
It was an excellent banquet. All of us were guests of the largest university in Turkey, Hacettepe Universitesi, with excellent infrastructure, organization and natural courtesy of students and professors. Everything was exquisite…..
I will cherish that symposium as I will cherish that archaeological museum.