Karacasu: the real deal for pottery!

In this day and age, if you stumble upon a stunning photo of a place, you risk spoiling the image by actually visiting it. That is not the case with Karacasu. Karacasu, and by extension, Karacasu pottery, is rooted in tradition and managed to escape the circus called mass-tourism. This little town not too far from Aphrodisias is a dream come true for authenticity seekers.

If you want to experience the beauty of craftsmanship without the feeling that people are putting up a show for the sake of tourists, you’ll LOVE this place. This is not a whimsical village, nor a place catering for tourists. This is a spot where a century-old tradition is kept alive. If you know what a ‘sanayı’ looks like, then think of this as a ‘sanayı’ for pottery production, almost exactly the way it was done here in antiquity. What a warm place!

Next To The Kiln, The Pottery Is Set To Dry

Next To The Kiln, The Pottery Is Set To Dry

Karacasu pottery: a tradition dating back to antiquity

Some sources mention that the pottery-making tradition in this area dates back to the Neolithic Age. In reality, it hasn’t been determined yet when it all started, but documents about ceramics found during excavations at Aphrodisias indicate that this trade goes back to antiquity.

The terracotta pottery made in Karacasu is unique in a way that the dark red-colored soil is characteristic of the area. The deep and intense color originates from the high levels of iron oxide in the clay. Karacasu pottery doesn’t contain any chemicals, and even today, the production is mostly carried out by hand, and mechanization is very low.

Click here to read more about UNESCO site Aphrodisias

A Master At Work

A Master At Work

A lot of the pottery workshops that are still active in Karacasu today are family-run businesses. The labor-intensive pottery production starts with the right soil, which nowadays is brought in from Yazır village. The soil is soaked in dedicated pools, then filtered and rested. Most workshops now use a machine for the kneading process before the clay is put through a roller and a vacuum press. After that, the fresh clay is left to rest for a while longer until the potter works his magic, usually on the same day.

One Of The Few Mechanical Equipments Used In The Karacasu Pottery Making Process

One Of The Few Mechanical Equipments Used In The Karacasu Pottery Making Process

Back in the days, the potter’s wheel was controlled by foot rotation; today, this part is motorized in most of the Karacasu workshops. The level of skill of the potters is mindblowing. Once the clay hits the wheel, it isn’t removed until the potter is happy with the finished product. At the end of the shaping process, once the shape and the decorations are perfect, a wire is used to separate the new creation form the wheel.

The First Of A Batch Of 50

The First Of A Batch Of 50

The drying process starts slowly in a closed, humid, and cool environment to avoid cracking. When they are ready, the products are taken outside to dry further in the sun. In winter, it takes about 4 to 5 days for a jug to dry, during the summer months, that period is shortened to 2 to 3 days. It takes an experienced eye to determine whether a product is completely dry and ready for the kiln.

Karacasu Pottery

Karacasu Pottery

Filling the kiln is a skill in itself, as the pottery needs to be placed in such a way that there is always air and heat circulation. Also, the objects can’t touch each other, or they’ll end up sticking together. The kiln (or oven) looks a bit like a huge terracotta pot from above. It has holes in the bottom to let the heat in that comes from the burning wood below. The clay used for Karacasu pottery can consolidate at low temperatures of between 650°C – 750°C.

An Empty Kiln, Quite Impressive!

An Empty Kiln, Quite Impressive!

One Batch Is Quite A Lot!

One Batch Is Quite A Lot!

After the baking, the kiln is left to cool for at least twelve hours before the terracotta products are removed. These pottery masters or (usta in Turkish) don’t run a shop of their own. They produce on-demand for resellers all over Turkey using the skills and traditional methods their ancestors have adopted hundreds of years ago. Like the alemci in Denizli, this is a disappearing trade, as younger family members don’t seem to have the urge to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

Fresh Pots And Lids Are Drying In The Sun Before Going Into The Kiln

Fresh Pots And Lids Are Drying In The Sun Before Going Into The Kiln

Karacasu pottery is a heritage product, and it is unique in many ways, not only because of its intense color and traditional production method but also because of the unique decoration methods. Part of the decorating still happens on the potter’s wheel and can include adding white lines that follow the shape of the object and then slitting them with a splitting rod. The lines, just like the rest of the raw materials used, are drawn with a local powder, a natural substance called ‘Madina’. More lines in a different color are sometimes added after the drying process. These silvery-yellow lines, also of natural materials, are applied by hand, after which they are left to dry.

Adding A Bit Of Extra Texture And Color

Adding A Bit Of Extra Texture And Color

Final thoughts on the Karacasu pottery workshops

Visiting these workshops that are located just outside the center of town is an enriching experience. While this is far from being a touristic hotspot, people are happy to show you their skills and share their knowledge over a cup of Turkish tea. You won’t be harassed into buying something, as this is not a souvenir shopping stop. These workshops aren’t here to cater to tourists, they are here because they are part of the local tradition, and by extension, Anatolian tradition. The finished products are utensils, but they are also a work of love, art, and craftsmanship.

If you have a genuine interest in pottery making or Anatolian tradition, you will love seeing these potters at work and walking the red-colored streets where the workshops are lined up.

Everything Is Covered In Red

Everything Is Covered In Red

If you decide to visit the Karacasu workshops, do have a walk around town and admire the beautifully restored Merkez Cami or pop into the Ethnographic Museum. For more practical information on how to get there or where to sleep, head over to the tabs below this post.

Click here to check out the stunning Merkez Cami in our Turkey Trip Planner

Karacasu Mosque Has 2 Mihrab's In Its Portico

Karacasu Mosque Has 2 Mihrab’s In Its Portico

✔️ Have you been to Karacasu? Then please head over to our Turkey Trip Planner to leave a review. Alternatively, if you plan on visiting, you can add the town to your bucket list.
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We want to thank the people at Kardeşler testi çömlek for giving us such a warm welcome during our unannounced visit
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The Karacasu pottery workshops managed to remain under the radar, and that’s a good thing!

You can, however, check reviews on TripAdvisor for other things to do nearby. If you have any questions, send us a message through our contact page, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Visit the mosque in town, head to UNESCO Aphrodisias, or plan a trip to include Nysa, and the Denizli area.Oh, and have a tahini pide in Karacasu, the place is famous for it!

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

We can highly recommend the charming Dandalos Hotel. Just looking at the pictures will make you want to book a room!

We still love to use Booking.com when searching for the perfect hotel or vacation rental in Turkey. Unfortunately, the website isn’t accessible from within Turkey without the use of a VPN. If you don’t have a VPN, and you’re already in Turkey, Hotels.com is a good alternative.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Karacasu is easy to reach by ar, as it is just off the D585 main road. If you are relying on public transport, take a dolmuş from Nazilli. They leave approximately every half hour. 

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

The Karacasu pottery workshops managed to remain under the radar, and that’s a good thing!

You can, however, check reviews on TripAdvisor for other things to do nearby. If you have any questions, send us a message through our contact page, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Visit the mosque in town, head to UNESCO Aphrodisias, or plan a trip to include Nysa, and the Denizli area.Oh, and have a tahini pide in Karacasu, the place is famous for it!

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

We can highly recommend the charming Dandalos Hotel. Just looking at the pictures will make you want to book a room!

We still love to use Booking.com when searching for the perfect hotel or vacation rental in Turkey. Unfortunately, the website isn’t accessible from within Turkey without the use of a VPN. If you don’t have a VPN, and you’re already in Turkey, Hotels.com is a good alternative.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Karacasu is easy to reach by ar, as it is just off the D585 main road. If you are relying on public transport, take a dolmuş from Nazilli. They leave approximately every half hour. 

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

LISTS & REVIEWS

Bookmark your favorite places, find other destinations nearby, get directions from your location, and read or leave reviews.

Our Turkey Trip Planner wad designed to do just that. You'll find all our favorite spots in one place, including scenic road stops.

Map of Turkey

Do you like to see things on a map? On our interactive tourist map of Turkey, you'll spot nearby points of interest right away. We've done the heavy lifting for you. Just click on the icons to go to each post.

Enjoy our practical and inspirational map of Turkey!

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Karacasu: the real deal for pottery!