Create your own painted pottery in Hatsik Village

Create your own painted pottery in Hatsik Village image

Gohar adds finishing touches to a clay angel before the firing process begins. (Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program)

Gohar Petrosyan’s distinctive techniques are the result of meticulous artistic experimentation. She harnesses the strength of clay by painting statuettes that feature the intricate patterns and regional accents of Armenian taraz (regional dress). Art and craft coexist in the workshop and studio sections of Gohar’s house, thus offering visitors an opportunity to explore both worlds.

Gohar and her family invite you into their home and studio to immerse yourself in the traditional culture of Hatsik village. Relocating to this village after her artistic education in Gyumri, Gohar was able to realize her dream of offering painting and pottery classes to children. This studio is the only art center in the village and Gohar teaches village children as well as students from the nearby city of Gyumri. Walk through the studio and into the living room and exhibition hall to see a sample of Gohar’s ceramic pieces and paintings and a few archaeological objects form the region.

After this brief introduction to Gohar’s life and work, you will have the opportunity to paint your own pieces using some of Gohar’s fired ceramic items, plates, or statuettes. The majority of her works are clay statuettes wearing traditional Armenian taraz, historically designed to provide information about a region’s geography, historical and political situation, daily life, and traditions. Gohar chose to dress her statuettes in this particular way to promote Armenian culture through her work. To inspire her creations, she references a catalogue of National Taraz, which features almost 200 designs in detail.

While waiting for your pieces to dry, Gohar’s family offers coffee, tea, and local desserts, like dried fruit and pastry. You can rest in the house’s large garden and learn about Hatsik’s history and everyday life. Nearby, the pilgrimage site of Tsak Kar (literally “stone with a hole”) is a natural stone monument that locals visit mainly on the Armenian holiday of Vardavar in July. Those who pass through the stone are cured from all illnesses and have their wishes come true—or so the legend goes.

Gohar’s museum-like gallery invites and entices visitors to explore and immerse themselves in a variety of artistic styles. In the process, participants may help maintain some of Armenia’s rich artistic traditions, and even take home a memento of their visit. For those who would prefer to paint on canvas instead of pottery, Gohar also offers painting lessons to visitors in her studio.

Gohar's freshly-fired whimsical trees and animal figurines sit in the kiln.

Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program

After rolling out the clay, Gohar cuts out shapes that will eventually be added to sculptures.

Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program

Gohar rolls out thin strands of clay.

Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program

Many of Gohar's figures showcase the national costumes (tarazes) of different regions of Armenia.

Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program

Also a trained painter, Gohar can demonstrate decorating ceramic tiles for her guests.

Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program

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