With the purpose of introducing the pottery of Menemen, one of the important centers of Anatolian pottery throughout history, in national and international area, the first of the International Menemen Pottery Festival is organized between 7th-9th October 2022.
Assoc. Prof. M. CANDAN GUNGOR
Menemen district of Izmir has been one of the important centers of pottery in Anatolia throughout history. Due to its' location, the district is also in a region with several ancient cities where there can be found ceramic finds. Being such an important center in history and known for its' traditional pottery that's still alive, a festival is organized in Menemen to introduce the pottery of Menemen in national and international area and contribute its' growth. Organized between the 7th-9th October 2022 by the Menemen Municipality with the theme "The Thing is To Do Together", the International Menemen Pottery Festival was focused on 'pottery' as well as including many areas such as professional fair, congress, nature, art, culture and gastronomy tourism. Festival was also pursuing the goal of providing vocation, creating employment and supporting entrepreneurs.
One of the events organized under the International Menemen Pottery Festival, the "Talented Hands Pottery Competition" is held by Ahmet Tashomcu's coordination with 114 participants coming from Iran, Spain, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia, Uzbekistan, Italy, Albania and many regions around Turkey. Competitors compete in making the exact replica of the ceramic Rhyton found in the ancient city of Panaztepe located near-by Menemen and in the longest cylinder and the longest pot categories. Those who ranked in the competition were; Ayhan Ide as the first, Oktay Ide as the second and Ali Hikmet Koc as the third in Master's Technique Branch, Karya Yildiz as the first, Veysi Polat as the second and Oktay Ide and Filippo Talmelli as the third in Master's Aesthetics Branch, Ulku Bursa as the first, Ahmet Ozer as the second, Dogukan Demir as the third in Amateur's Aesthetics Branch. The jury members of the competition were; Elvio Sagnella (Italy), Zinaida Korchagina (Russia), Mirta Morigi (Italy), Nevill A. Salha (Lebanon), Prof. Sevim Cizer, Prof. Halil Yoleri, Prof. Dr. Candan Dizdar Terviel, Prof. Aysegul Turedi Ozen, Prof. Ismail Yardimci, Prof. Lerzan Ozer, Assoc. Prof. Nalan Danabas, Assoc. Prof. M. Candan Gungor, Dr. Lecturer Can Ozcan, Ahmet Tashomcu, Aydın Afacan.
In the conferences organized under the Festival, well-attended presentations were made on topics like science, art, archeology spread over ceramics such as "The Last Women Masters of Anatolia" by Prof. Sevim Cizer, "Finding Fault, Exorcising or Tales of Pottery and Design Facts" by Dr. Lecturer Can Ozcan, "Preparing Menemen Clay for Raku Firing" by Assoc. Prof. Atilla Cengiz Kilic, "What Are The Physical and Health Risks Faced in Ceramic Production Process? How Can We Protect Ourselves?" by Prof. Zeliha Mete, "5000 Years of Menemen Pottery in the Guide of Panaztepe Excavations", "The Importance of Clay in Practices of Art Therapy" by Asuman Aktuy, "Menemen Pottery as an Element of Intangible Cultural Heritage" by Aycan Hasircilar, "Traditional Pakistani Pottery and Modern Ceramics" by Muhammad Hassan Kashigar.
There were also workshops of different disciplines organized in the festival. In ceramic firing technique activities, Assoc. Prof. Atilla Cengiz Kilic, Researcher Sukran Duran held Raku Firing, Prof. Emet Egemen Aslan, Researcher Saban Aykut Hizliok held Basket Kiln Firing and Lecturer I. Vefa Irdelp held Obvara Firing.
Hem-Hal Group Exhibition in the Historic Tashan Bazaar, is organized with the attendance of the artists applied for the exhibition from Turkey, Spain, Lebanon, Pakistan, Russia, Iran and Italy. Prof. Dr. Oguz Dilmac, Dr. Lecturer Ali Temel Koseler, Lecturer Fusun Covenoglu, Assoc. Prof. Efe Turkel, Assoc. Prof. Sehran Dilmac took place as jury members in Hem-Hal Group Exhibition made under Ebru Ilbeyci Alkan's curatorship.
Wide range of events are hosted with a dense attendance of visitors in the 1st International Menemen Pottery Festival where companies from pottery and ceramic sector got the opportunity to introduce and market their products. Pottery masters of Menemen and visitors coming from various regions around Turkey met with the other stakeholders of the sector. Ceramic shaping and lathe turning events are held for kids under the festival.
In the 1st International Menemen Pottery Festival which brought Menemen together with the world, the cognoscenti of this profession are also memorized who have great contributions in the development of Menemen pottery.
There's no doubt that advancement, being loved and continuing of a branch of art is only possible by familiarizing and popularizing that branch of art. In this sense, the Menemen Pottery Festival is a salutation to the profession of pottery which comes to life at the hands of the masters of Menemen who have lived in these lands for thousands of years.
We wish this inclusive festival to be maintained and lead other 'Centers of Pottery'.