İstanbul

Elbow Grease and Eye Straining Work

Handricrafts are taught in İstanbul Handricrafts Center. The arts of marbling, calligraphy, window painting, illumination and miniature taught in here represent a tradition of hundreds of years. “Girl smelling the rose” work of Levni who made reform in miniature with his lines in 17th century

Our manuscripts, carpets, glazed tiles, wooden work, calligraphy, window painting, and weaving have been appreciated and displayed in collections all around the world throughout history.

Caferağa Madrasah

Caferiye Sk. Ayasofya Yanı Soğukkuyu Çıkmazı No:1 Tel: (212)513-3601 T

This was commissioned by Cafer Aga and built by Mimar Sinan (1559). It now includes a cafe. Teachers have a master-assistant-apprentice relationship with their students in the madrasah where traditional handicrafts are taught and daily workshops are offered. There is a Turkish Art Gallery in the Tekke of Caferiye (Tekke o Sinan erdebili) (1534) which is near  the madrasah.  It offers the best art works to local and international visitors.

Küçükayasofya Handicrafts Center

Küçükayasofya Avenue Küçükayasofya Mosque Garden Tel: 0212 458 61 84

Küçükayasofya Tekkesi (tekke means a dervish lodge) was rented to Ahmet Yesevi Foundation and it was turned into a traditional handicrafts center. Traditional handicraft training is offered in various handicrafts centers as well as Fine Arts Departments of some universities. One of them is the Caferağa Madrasah in Sultanahmet. İstanbul Handicrafts Center

Traditional handricraft training is offered in various handicrafts centers as well as Fine Arts Departments of some universities. One of them is the Caferağa Madrasah in Sultanahmet.

 

 

The art of calligraphy was used in manuscripts, imperial edicts and sultan signatures.  The tulip figure is the most common example of the art of marbling,  which is a difficult art in terms of materials and method.

 

Istanbul Handicrafts Center

Kabasakal Cad. No: 7 Sultanahmet Tel: 0212 517 67 85

The Kabasakal Madrasah in the courtyard just near the Yesil Ev (The Green House) offers traditional handicrafts courses under the name of Istanbul Handicrafts Center. Handicrafts are made and sold here. Courses in calligraphy, marbling, window painting, illumination and doll-making are also conducted in the rooms in which students used to stay in the past.

İsmek

ismek.ibb.gov.tr ISMEK, an adult training organization that operates under the Metropolitan Municipality organizes training courses in all districts.

Marbling

Marbling is a decorative paper art which utilizes the harmony between water and colors. It is made with natural paints that are insoluble in water, thus preventing the scattering of colors in the water, an herbal adhesive called tragacanth, and cow gull which ensures solidification of the paper.

 

Wars, conquests, festival celebrations and military expeditions constituted subjects of miniatures. A work of the famous miniature master Levni (17th century)

 

 

The Art of Calligraphy

The word “hat” (the original Arabic word used for calligraphy) means “line” or “a single line” in Arabic. Nowadays it means calligraphy, the beautiful hand writing in Arabic letters. In Islam images of people and often animals were generally forbidden, which resulted in writing being widely used in the decoration and embellishment of many works from the Koran to mosques. The art of calligraphy was highly developed, particularly within the Ottoman culture, and rose to a high esthetic level along with its functionality.

Calligraphy Museum (Museum section P. 40)

The Art of Miniature

The art of making small paintings on materials such as paper, parchment, or ivory is called miniature. There is no anatomy, depth, light or shading in miniatures. Instead, there are many figures piled on one another. Far and near figures are all the same size. However, they may be depicted smaller or bigger according to their importance. For a miniature painter, the painting depicts the shape and color of the subject. 

Glazed Tiles

Archaeology Museums Çinili Köşk (Glazed Tiled Manor) (Museums section P. 34)

Traditional Turkish ceramics, known as “çini” in Turkish, are appreciated all around the world with their durability, colors, and decorations.  The Selçuk Turks used glazed tiles to decorate buildings in the 12th century. In the Ottoman Era, colors were used in more vivid forms and decorations became more intricate and balanced. The Ottoman art of glazed tiling reached its peak in I˙znik in the 16th century with the support of the Ottoman Palace. Examples can be seen in the Edirne Selimiye Mosque, I˙stanbul Süleymaniye Mosque, Rüstem Pas¸a Mosque, and the Blue Mosque. The art disappeared for a while after the empire grew weak. However, it was revived in Kütahya in the 18th century. The art of glazed tiling almost vanished again at the beginning of the last century but it but it took a great leap at the beginning of the 1980’s.

Oil lamp, İznik 16th century. Archaeology Museum, Çinili Kiosk Glazed tiling works which are among the works that attract the attention of tourists the most are exhibited in Archaeology museums.

THE MOST COMMON TILING METHODS

• The most common tiling type in the Selçuk era was ceramic tiling (sgraffito). The basis of this method is to carve decorations in clay and then use gloss or oxide coating to highlight the color underneath. This method could be applied to highlight the clay surface of the coating or several colors could be applied over each other and then carved. 

• Another method, the Minai method, is a synthesis of methods applied under gloss or on gloss. Tile red, black and white gilt is applied on the gloss following the application of purple, blue, turquoise and green, and the decoration is completed. 

• Coloring on gloss (cuerda seca) is another method where glosses of various colors can be applied on a single plate and oil colors are applied in thin lines to highlight the contours while preventing the mixing of fluent colors during kiln-drying. It was first applied by masters from Tabriz in the Ottoman era.

What made Ottoman glazed tiles priceless were their durability and the authentic use of vivid, transparent, colored and stylized flower motifs. Masters of the art of glazed tiling preserve these characteristics as they were today 

Wooden Works

Wooden work was done with great mastery during the Anatolian Selçuk era. It was used for simple daily items such as trestles, writing sets, drawers, chests, boats, book stands, and Koran stands as well as architectural works such as windows, closet covers, beams, consoles, ceilings, altars, pulpits and sarcophagi.

Mother-of-pearl inlaying

Ivory and mother-of-pearl inlay as well as embedding and mother-of-pearl mosaic were the outstanding methods used on wooden furniture. Patterns were drawn on polishede wood with a thin pen and then the inlaying materials were laid in the opened sockets. Mother-of-pearl and ivory applied in inlaying methods were used on doors, windows, and closet covers and the inlaying materials were adhered using a strong glue.

 

 

Textile products and bindallı

Clothes and textile products on which this decoration is applied is also known as “bindalli” (a thousand branches) due to the many branched figures used.

The most beautiful examples of decorations made with golden and silver threads developed by the palace society and those who appreciated them were those known as bindalli (a thousand branches). Garments with bindalli on them were used for wedding clothes, loose robes, skirts, and jackets. Bindallı were also used traditional Turkish textiles such as bundles and sleeping sets. The free composition in the form of curved branches, leaves, and flowers stretching out from a vase on clothes was applied on the whole front and back sections of the cloth.

 

Carpet weaving

Carpet weaving holds an important place in Turkish handicrafts and it also has a long history. The first examples of carpet weaving date back to the Huns. The art of carpet weaving which entered Anatolia along with the Selçuk Empire in the 11th century turned into a fundamental tradition. Every single motif bears a different meaning. Gördes, Kula, Ladik, Bergama, Milas, Usak, Izmir, Kayseri, Sivas, Kütahya and Hereke, the first settlements of the Turks, are locations where the highest-quality carpets have been woven throughout history. Turkish carpets woven from wool and silk are also very important abroad.

Carpet Museum (Museums section P. 41)

NOTE WHEN PURCHASING A CARPET

• You should decide well on where you will use the carpet. • The carpet is hand-woven if you cannot see the knots and if naps do not come out when you reverse the carpet. • You should check whether it is flat when you are purchasing a carpet or rug. It should be of equal size and there should not be any wavy areas when you flatten it. • Colors should be clearly seen and they should not mix in the patterns.  • They should be resistant to dirt and mold.

 

Gold Works

From the 15th century onwards  precious metals such as gold and silver came into widespread use in the Ottoman palace, and gradually in the major cities of the Empire. It is known for example, that Sultan Selim the First (1512-1520) and his son Süleyman the Magnificent  (1520-1566) both learned the art of jewelry-making as princes in Trabzon, and that when they became sultans they were staunch patrons of jewelers and during their reigns even jewelers outside the palace produced objects for the palace in keeping with imperial tastes.

An ever in gold studded with gems in the Topkapi Palace


Silver Work

Although silver, a precious metal which will not oxidize and is a good conductor of heat and electricity, is used extensively in industry, because of its malleabilty it also appears in our lives as jewelry, decorative items and even utensils. In archeological excavations in Egypt fragments of silver jewelry have been dated back to as early as 4000 BC. Silver money as a medium of exchange appears in Lydia in Anatolia circa 650 BC. The people of ore-rich Anatolia have attached great importance to silver for centuries, giving way to a culture which has produced some of the finest examples of art on silver.

Copper Works

The most commonly used metal in metal crafting was copper. It was processed with methods such as hammering or inlaying. Copper work included cauldrons, bowls, saucepans, basins, watering cans, copper buckets, tankards, round trays, braziers, and gülabdan (a pitcher which had a thin neck and a wide middle section and was used in the Ottoman era).

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