Today there are still people in the region of Gabala who are involved in producing different types of jugs, lamps, pitchers, vessels (dopu), lids, and so on, which are used in daily life and for domestic work.
Fifty-two-year-old Vagif Zeynalov, son of Agharahim the potter, who once lived in the Kushnet village of Gabala, continues the practice of this craft. He says that he become involved in pottery after his father passed away. When he was a child, he learned the skill of clay word from his father and he now continues this tradition. Vagif mentions that pottery is a unique craft because every item is different from the next. In outward appearance the items might look identical, but the details are actually different. Even though measuring instruments are used, the main work is done by hand. Therefore, each of the potter’s wares is a unique piece of art.
Pottery is a folk art and is always practiced in accordance with the needs of the people; there are few souvenirs among pottery items. It is interesting that modern technology has had little effect on pottery. Centuries on from its beginnings, clay is still prepared by stamping on mud with one’s feet, before the material is manually converted into the finished shape.
Vagif also reveals the secret indicators of high quality pottery products: A high-quality ceramic bowl should not break, even when stood upon. When pottery vessels are knocked against each other it should sound like glass touching. The colour of the pottery should be shot with gold. Craftsmen do not consider the glazing of pottery to be right. As painted wares cannot breathe the lose their identity. Glazed pottery cannot be used for cooking. In contrast, high quality pieces can be used for 40-50 years.