Uzbekistan’s Ceramic Capital – town of Rishtan
Rishtan located 40km south of Kokand is known as a town of artists. It is believed that the place has been the centre of ceramics production for a continuous period of over 1000 years! Over the centuries the master craftsmen from Rishtan developed their own unique style recognized all over the world. Typical ceramics from Rishtan is hand-painted with the use of colourful paints, with the dominant colour being turquoise and blue and their various shades. The craftsmen pay a lot of attention also to fine details of patterns painted drudgingly with very thin brushes. That’s another characteristic feature of Rishtan ceramics.
As soon as you enter the town, you can sense its “artistic” atmosphere. Instead of fruit and vegetable stands or booths selling cheap Chinese products, we see pottery stands apparently set up randomly, near private houses. There are no monumental statues on roundabouts but rather enormous tureens and other dishes clearly informing all newcomers that they’ve come to the capital of ceramics renowned in all Central Asia. One of the workshops attracting the greatest number of tourists is Said Akhmedov’s workshop located in his family house in one of the streets of the town.
Rishtan for tourist
Tourists that find this hidden place may watch all stages of the process of ceramics production, starting from preparation of clay, to hand shaping of various forms (plates, dishes, tureens), painting, drying and finally firing in kilns. Since Rishtan ceramics is a desired product, the workshop is visited by tourists from all over the world. Said Akhmedov and his family are perfectly prepared for that. They set aside a few rooms in their house to accommodate tourists. One may stay there for several days and take part in workshops. In the evenings the “students” sit by a table to taste the local delicacies and enjoy the Uzbek music. The stylishly decorated inner courtyard of the house is reserved for that purpose. There is also quite a big shop with a gallery next to the workshop, where one can admire the pottery or buy it. The entrance to the workshop is free of charge and the tours are usually guided by Said Akhmedov himself. The artist sells his works not only in Uzbekistan –he runs shops/galleries in several cities in Europe, e.g. in Berlin.
Work for patient people. Every single plate, bowl or cup is hand painted.
Although the workshop is located in a very remote area, people from all corners of the world come here for “ceramics” shopping. Frenchmen, Italians and Americans are supposedly the most common visitors.
Gas-heated kiln where the ceramic pieces of art are fired.
HOW TO GET THERE?
The workshop is located not far from Kokand so the easiest way is to get a taxi from the city centre. You may also visit the workshop on your way from Tashkent to Fergana (shared taxi). Discuss the details with your driver.
Said Akhmedov – Ceramic Workshop
8, Amir Timur Street
What else is there to see in the Fergana Valley?
Extremely interesting and photogenic place where you may feel the spirit of the ancient tradition of silk production
A small craft-oriented town made famous all around the world by production and handmade pottery
Bustling, aromatic and colourful place just like many other interesting Uzbek bazaars
Centre of the bloody incidents of 2005, which received wide coverage in the international media
Khan’s Palace in Kokand
Majestic residence of Kokand’s last ruler build with a flourish
*Text written by us was also included in a guidebook published by Bezdroża Publishing House under the working title “Uzbekistan” First edition. Premiere of the book will take place in the first quarter of 2019! GO TO MEET THE UZBEK GALLERY GO TO UZBEKISTAN...ON THE SILK ROAD GALLERY