Cappadocia is a popular tourist destination.
Bayankus sanat evi ceramics avanos plate
And if you’re like me, you can get tired of “the tourist traps” common to busy tourist regions.

Every once in a while we introduce you to an off-the-beaten-path location, or a hole-in-the-wall restaurant.

Well Hamza and Elmas Dölek’s Bayankuş Sanat Evi is that place.

Bayankus sanat evi ceramics avanos guyThe newly opened “Art House” is a place for you to find quality ceramics without the touristy hassle.


Despite Hamza being from Konya, and Elmas studying in Konya, the two never met until they both started working in Avanos. “I studied in Niğde as a biology teacher,” Hamza recounted as to how he met his wife. “While I studied, I also did the Sema (religious ceremonial dance we refer to as whirling dervish) here in Avanos. When I didn’t pass my biology final exams, I started accounting for a ceramic firm here in Avanos. And this girl started following me around” Hamza smirked tongue-in-cheek as Elmas sat right across from him rolling her eyes.

Elmas interjected the true story. “I studied art in Konya and came to Avanos because of the ceramic history here,” she said. “I started working at the same ceramic place as Hamza but never saw him. Suddenly, from upstairs, the accountant moved his computer downstairs and sat next to me,” she joked. Now it was Hamza’s turn to roll his eyes.

Bayankus sanat evi ceramics avanos gulHamza and Elmas took a leap of faith and renovated a beautiful, old, Avanos stone house into a ceramic shop. Their story is an amazing tale of hard work and perseverance mixed with vision and simplicity. Five years of married bliss later, with 3 year-old twins in tow, they thought about their future. “We opened this for our children. At least we can teach them a profession,” Hamza explained as he showed me around the two-story, four-room house, now converted into a boutique ceramic factory.


Hard work. After nine years of accounting for a major ceramic seller Hamza wanted to work for himself. As for Elmas, her talent started as a child, when her grandfather and father were potters in Manisa. With the skill in her blood, after graduating, she worked for 3 years at the same ceramics place as Hamza, before needing to stop to care for her twin boys. Now the two, in partnership with other workers with 10 or more years experience, are not just painting plates for others to sell. They’re making their own pottery, firing it, drawing designs, painting, firing again, and framing their own creations to sell to the public.

Bayankus sanat evi ceramics avanos patentVision. Hamza and Elmas did not open their own ceramic factory to expand and grow. Truly a unique perspective from these two. “We are happy to meet our needs. We want to work happy and in peace.” When you have worked like they have, long hours and little pay, you get the feeling they really aren’t in it for the money.

This is a completely different operation than is normally found in Avanos. Most of the pottery shops in Avanos are sales points, with all of the work being done by other people, in other locations. Bayankuş Sanat Evi is a total in house operation start to finish.


Bayankus sanat evi ceramics avanos girl“I do the ceramic work” Elmas said in between placing branches on the “Tree of Life” plate she was molding into shape. Nurşen, who worked in textile after graduating but started ceramic work 10 years ago after returning to Avanos from Istanbul, does the drawing designs and painting. I saw the work she was doing and was stunned by the color and design on the plate. “My husband discovered this technique and he patented it. We’re the only ones in Avanos who do this” she said proudly. (Please see the picture, it’s amazing. It looks like Ebru, only on stone!) Gül who also has many years of experience was painting an enormous plate. “I stopped working on pottery for a while, but because these people are so good to work with, I am really happy now” beamed the painter who was clearly enjoying her work. Together with Hamza, who makes the frames for the ornate tiles, they’re a well-oiled machine.

Bayankus sanat evi ceramics avanos artSo if you are in Avanos and looking for pottery but don’t want to deal with the haggling frenzy in the town center, make your way to the Bayankuş Sanat Evi in the Alaadin Mahalle.

You’ll be glad you did!
Bayankuş Sanat Evi
Elmas Akşit Dölek
Alaadin Mah.
302 Sokak No. 2
Avanos, Nevşehir
0542 355 1659
0544 332 2580

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Christian Dedrick is an English teacher living in Avanos. He has lived in Turkey since 2008 with his wife and three sons. He moved to Cappadocia in 2011 and is excited to be sharing stories from his life here. He enjoys spending time with Cappadocians, hearing, and telling their stories.
He began writing for CaptivatingCappadocia in spring 2012.
Click here to read more about Christian.