The last vase that was not finished

June 26, 2018 at 1:12 am

Kirkuk, June 2018, The unfinished vase of Jamal Gozachi, as his son and he died before completing it in Daquq. Photo: Muhammad Almas

Kirkuk, June 2018, The unfinished vase of Jamal Gozachi, as his son and he died before completing it in Daquq. Photo: Muhammad Almas

Muhammad Almas – Kirkuk
Jamal Gozachi, 72, realised his final wish when he died while making his last vase. The story goes with his father dying similarly, in his workshop while making his last vase.
Jamal Zain-al-Din Kakaiyi, known as Jamal Gozachi (the potter), was famous in Kirkuk, especially Daquq district, when he died late May 2018 at the age of 72. The craft of pottery has been in the family for more than a century.
Final wish extends pottery for more a century
Gozachi followed his father’s footsteps and took up the craft, as his father from his grandfather. The ongoing trade is given to the new generation through fathers leaving their final wish that the son takes on the business.

Jamal Gozachi was busy with pottery in his workshop. The picture was given to KirkukNow from his archive

Jamal Gozachi was busy with pottery in his workshop. The picture was given to KirkukNow from his archive

As with Jamal Gozachi, he left the same final wish for his children before his death on 29 May.
The oldest son of Jamal Kakaiyi, Safeen, has been on the craft for some time now after his father’s death. He was his protege for years. He told KirkukNow, “This craft is the final will of my precedents, and we will continue.”
He added, “One of the wishes of my father was to die while working in his workshop, and the wish was realised when he was making a vase. He died over the vase.”
A craft that passed borders
Jamal was only six years old when he was working with his father in the workshop back then in the 1950s when their home was in Tuz Khurmatu. However, he tried to go further with the profession by adding aesthetic elements to the craft, through decorations and drawings on the vases. Through this, his fame went past Daquq to Kirkuk city, and then Iraq and abroad.

“His creations became prominent in the region, and he took part in tens of exhibitions abroad,” Safin said, “His last participation was in 2013 in Turkey, where he was ranked the first.”
He was a school to his friends
His friends claim that he did not view his profession as a mere vase-making. He was in love with the profession, as he started building statues for his early school and along with writing poems. In meetings and discussions, they say, he was “a school”.
One of his close friends, Hussein Darwish, told KirkukNow, “He was a successful sculpture and poet. He was always discussing how to serve through his creations.”
However, Hussein said, his profession did not have much financial benefit, “He was always saying that this is the will of my forefathers and I love it. However, he was complaining that the government did not assist him at all.”

Kirkuk, June 2018, Safeen Jamal Gozachi stands in front of the kiln where his father worked on pottery for years. Photo: Muhammad Almas

Kirkuk, June 2018, Safeen Jamal Gozachi stands in front of the kiln where his father worked on pottery for years. Photo: Muhammad Almas

Hussein also said, “One of his attractive creations was building a civilian aeroplane, with the help of his son Safin, which is 18 meters long.”
The destiny compelled him not to finish his aeroplane, as before the creation still have the pilot door and the electricity wares missing. “Most people from different classes and crests loved him and talked to him. When it came to vase-making, Mam (affectionate title) Jalal was a school,” said Bebak Hussein, another friend of Jamal Gozachi. He added, “He was always saying that he wants to teach all his children so that they can finish his work.”
What happens to his work
History repeats itself for his family, as his father Zain-al-Abadeen died in his workshop in Tuz Khurmatu, and buried there, his son Jamal also died while working in Daquq.
Safeen, and his seven sisters and one brother, have started working.
“I’ve replaced my father now, and finish his work, although I cannot reach the artistic level of my father and will remain his protege,” said Safin, who said he leaves his father’s will to his children as well. Safin has started to make vases, as his forefathers.

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