Pottery Workshop „Orkoli“
Robert and Tsira Absnadze are professional ceramists. Their studio "Orkoli" is a popular touristic place. Traditional pottery, vases, decorative wall dishes decorated with Georgian ornaments and sculptures of various figures, as well as examples depicting the modern and the recent history are created in the studio. Events are often held here for the purpose of introduction and promotion of the Georgian heritage. The family expanded its offers for receiving visitors. They run a family café next to the studio. There is a small shop where visitors can purchase the items. 15 local masters are employed at the studio and their items are sold in souvenir shops throughout Georgia. Within the framework of services offered by "Orkoli" for the tourism market of Georgia, visitors can watch the continuous work process and participate in the masterclass.
The idea to establish "Orkoli" belongs to Robert Absnadze. He gained knowledge at Tbilisi Academy of Arts and has been working in three genres – sculpture, pottery and pictorial art - for over 30 years. The other family members soon jointed Mr. Robert and painting, modelling and pictorial art have become the main source of the Absnadze family for the last several years. The idea of turning the activities of "Orkoli" into business appeared in 2011 and the author of this idea is the master’s spouse, Mrs. Tsira. Later, this idea became a successful business as a result of joint work.
Customers of the studio are tourist groups visiting Zugdidi or travelling to Svaneti. Most of them are visitors from Poland, Russia, USA, Estonia, and Croatia.
International projects, namely, USAID ZRDA have positively influenced increase of recognition. The studio is included in the tourist map, in itineraries and often hosts various info-tours.
In addition to cultural products produced locally, the source of income of "Orkoli" is demonstration of the production process and conducting masterclasses for the youth and tourists.
Success factors and challenges
According to the artist, the main thing is to know your job and do it honestly. Key to their success and their strength lie in the unity of their family.
Plans for future development
Under the conditions of the Pandemic, the future plan of the studio is to make an online shop.
Source of the images: https://www.facebook.com/ORKOLStudio/
Art & Craft, master classes in pottery-making