Noyans Unique Cappadocia Ceramic Art ship


Pottery is an ancient art form.

In fact, some 2000 year old Biblical manuscripts make reference to ceramics.

“Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” Romans 9:21

Yogurt pots, cheese containers, and water jugs are some of the common uses of pottery in Anatolia.

But there are some ceramics that are for special purposes nowadays.

From household wares to tourism mainstays, pottery has evolved in Cappadocia.

Noyans Unique Cappadocia Ceramic Art couple
And continues to develop. Just ask Noyan Yayla.

“We have been painting tulips and carnations forever. It’s time to start being creative and produce something else,” he said. That something else that Noyan has produced is truly… something else!


Noyans Unique Cappadocia Ceramic Art bowlNoyan has taken traditional ceramics to a new level by creating a new painting technique. Most of the ceramics sold in Cappadocia are painted in designs: Hittite, Tulips, and other Ottoman motifs. Noyan has mastered painting scenes of Istanbul or the Marmara Sea or Cappadocian fairy chimneys on all sorts of pottery.

Forty-six year old Noyan has been doing this form of art on ceramics for almost ten years. Unfortunately, his creativity is not being rewarded. “In Turkey, the producer doesn’t make much, it’s the seller who makes the money”, Noyan lamented. However, if imitation is the greatest form of flattery, Noyan should be proud. “I found this plate with my name on it, only it’s not my work,” he said, showing me a clearly lower quality ceramic plate. Not only is he not being compensated for his art, but people are claiming his style as their own. He even opened a lawsuit against the shop that did this, but to no avail.


Noyans Unique Cappadocia Ceramic Art plate cupNoyan has an interesting story behind his work. He is the son of a successful artist. But Noyan didn’t learn from his father. “My dad didn’t really see potential in me. He worked with a lot of other children but not with me,” reminisced Noyan. “I grew up drawing and painting, but my father must not have thought I was serious,” Noyan recounted. When his family moved to the “other side of the tracks” in Istanbul, Noyan had to fend for himself. Mild in stature, he described how he survived his childhood, “I wasn’t big but I was feisty, like a pit-bull.”

He took that character with him into his fine arts study at University. In fact, he found the students in the department so different from him that he didn’t go to class for a month. “I didn’t fit in, I couldn’t talk like they talked, and nobody acted like I acted.” He didn’t like the personality he’d become, growing up in a bad part of Istanbul, but he couldn’t change. “One day I was in the cafeteria and got in a fight with a teacher. I went to my next period class and the professor came in the room…it was the man I had fought with in the cafeteria”, he explained ashamedly.

Noyans Unique Cappadocia Ceramic Art varietyNoyan did eventually follow in the footsteps of his father. But he explained the art world today and the art world of his father are totally different. “In the 70’s and 80’s the economy was good. And art work was appreciated in those days. So people paid good money for paintings,” Noyan recounted. “People were even buying paintings wet and taking them home before they dried.” When the fine art professors at universities saw that there was a living to be made painting, they took to the streets to try their luck. The market was flooded with art. The quality dropped and so did the prices. Noyan says that is when art appreciation began to decline.


Noyans Unique Cappadocia Ceramic Art wine jug“For a hundred years, there were really quality artists in Istanbul and Ankara,” said Noyan, making reference to some famous impressionists painters whose works are now sold at auction for people’s personal collections. “But because of our culture, portrait painting is frowned upon,” Noyan explained. Painting portraits or scenes in some people’s minds is similar to idolatry, so it is undervalued. As the country becomes more Islamic the value of fine arts is also decreasing he explained.


Noyan can be found in downtown Avanos. If you are looking for a truly unique piece of pottery to take back home with you please visit him. Only know that when you buy his pottery, you are not buying a souvenir, your making an investment in a work of art!

Noyan Yayla – Avanos Cappadocia
Yukarı Mahallesi, 50860 Avanos/Nevşehir
Tel: 0535 777 00 77

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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.