Click twice on photos to see enlarged.
The Achna bowl in progress
Ara emptying the smoke kiln.
Ara and Nancy with copy of the Oxford bowl.
Nancy painting a pot.
Triskelion Pottery was conceived around Ara Nigogossian's and Nancy Hocking's dinner table in London, in 1985. They were discussing with friends the idea of taking a mid-life break and what to do to earn money if they did. They had bought a small house in a small village in the Paphos district of Cyprus a few years before and wanted to live there for a spell. Many ideas were discussed but when one friend suggested they make pottery, Ara's eyes widened and he became thoughtful, minutes later he announced he would make copies of ancient Cypriot pottery. He had a passion for ancient Cypriot pottery, frequently visiting the British Museum and the museums in Cyprus. However he was trained as a marine engineer and had his own car repair garage, he had never touched clay or had any art training in his life.

A few days after his announcement he purchased a wheel and small kiln and signed up for two evening classes. He also had a potter friend come to the house to drill him throwing techniques.

For her part, Nancy had a degree in fine art and was enthusiastic about the idea from the moment Ara announced he was to become a potter. The couple obtained permission to study in the Cypriot collection at the British Museum where they photographed, weighed, measured and studied the many hundreds of pots stored in the basement. In 1988, after three years of work in their tiny London basement workshop they moved to Cyprus and set up Triskelion Pottery. At the time Ara was 49 and Nancy 36, their daughter Tamar, 6.

Chickens and rabbits, flowers and fruit trees, a large vegetable patch and kilns sprouted in their garden. Tamar attended the village school just across the street from the pottery and slowly they gained a reputation as makers of high quality replicas. Ara was the wheel and kiln man, Nancy the coiler and decorator. The island is small so within a short while the pottery came to the attention of the Archaeological community and one couple in particular. Archaeologists Dr. Nancy Serwint, Helena Wilde Swiny and Dr. Stuart Swiny, then director of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (C.A.A.R.I.) in the capitol Nicosia, were instrumental in steering Nancy and Ara toward the study of pottery technology.

While the pottery in the village continued to sell replicas to tourists, their work was becoming well known on the island with exhibits and media coverage, it was given as state gifts and collected by devotees. They began to study ancient technology, with Nancy researching in the C.A.A.R.I. Library and Ara experimenting with the early Bronze age Black-topped Red ware firing technique.

You can get in touch with them at ara.nancy@virgin.net.