THE CERAMICS OF GUMRI
With their precise gestures and techniques, the craftsmen of the Gumri ceramics workshop are rehabilitating an ancestral know-how lost during the 20th century, due to the genocide of 1915 and 70 years of the Soviet system.
The origin of the ceramics is in Kütahya in the Ottoman Empire, 200 km from Istanbul, since the 16th century. Nowadays, they are exhibited in museums all over the world and are renowned for their original designs, reminiscent of chintz, the painted canvases of Indian origin that the Armenian Church commissioned to be used as curtains for the sacred altar.
It was in the 18th century that the production of Kütahya reached its peak with a refinement and quality that were highly prized.
The potters were both Muslim and Christian, to meet the needs of both religious communities. The Christians were predominantly Armenians and played an important role in the history of the city's pottery.
Today, their direct descendants, the Balians, can be found in Jerusalem.
A whole Armenian epic!...
The pottery of Gumri is part of this great history. It restores the historical vocation of this great Armenian city, a veritable breeding ground for great artists in the many fields of art.
Reinventing Armenian ceramics from Kütahya to Gumri is an artistic as well as a historical challenge that has been taken up by the Gumri ceramics workshop.