Location: Pirtaj village in Chang-almas region in western Iran
In April 2011, we (Patty and Morty) received an e-mail from Javad Mehrbannia from Iran, who holds a B.A degree in archaeology, asking if we were interested to see a documentary he had put together about a potter woman in Iran and her ancient techniques. A few weeks later, we received his DVD documenting what we believe is the way pottery was done thousands of years ago. Javad excitedly asked in further emails if we had received the DVD, what we thought of it and if we were willing to show the content to our students. Javad, who is related to the woman potter, Nana Soghra, was concerned that this ancient pottery method would disappear without an opportunity for future generations to see it and after watching his DVD with fascination, we agreed with Javad. We edited and posted his documentary in the video below. We shortened it, his original is over an hour in length, so be aware that much of the potter’s repetitive and grueling effort to make only a few pots is much more than what you see. Below are some of Javad’s comments regarding the video (unedited).
30 minutes video
Javad's comments (unedited):
"1- The village location is in Pirtaj village at Chang-almas region in western Iran.
2- The potter's Name is : Nana Soghra
3- The people's life are based on agriculture and pastoral . They produce wheat, grape, grain and keep cattle, sheep, goat for their milk and meat they knitting rugs and carpets.
4- Most of the people here are farmers.
5- In the past, before using plastic, iron wares and vessels, the women made pottery wares and exported and sold their productions (artefacts) to the around villages . Now, there is no domestic production and the last potter women in this village are retired and we can see different sample wares in the houses.
6- I want to announce this woman and her art to Lakeside Pottery and it's members who might be intersted and concerned about this diying technique
7- Credits for others in the film: A- Nana Soghra (potter woman), B-Marzieh (her assistant and bride) C- Salman Khan(her husband) 4 Maryam(her daughter) D- her grand children.
8- I ask you to show my movie to your students and I wish you can come here to meet this village and the potter women. I'd like to know about the reactions of Lakeside Pottery students and staff.
9- They use goat bristle to make strong the clay
10- The pots firing (not shown in the movie) is done by burning dried vines and sticks.
11- Yes it is really possible to visit me me in Iran and it is completely safe. You can get a tourist visa and come here to enjoy sight seeing. We can go to the village together to document it further. I recommend you come because it can enrich your knowledge of pottery and the nearest big cities to my region and village are "HAMADAN" and "ZANJAN", those both are ancient cities.
In the end, I am gratefull to you for your interest in my life and I ask you to show my documentary to many. I am looking forward your email reply.
All the best, Javad Mehrbannia, June 14, 2011"