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One of the classic glassmaking techniques and bearing the most important traces of Turkish glassmaking heritage, ‘Çeşm-i Bülbül’ is and has been a product harnessed with the biggest difficulties of art glass.

It means ‘eye of the nightingale’ or ‘fountain of the nightingale’. The design of this product requires the utmost sensitivity and mastery of an artist during the whole process of technical difficulties from the first preparations to its final shape.

Perhaps due to these reasons, only this group of products has been given a special name apart from their functions in the last 200 years of art glass in the Bosporus.

The signatures not appended by glassmakers of Beykoz on Çeşm-i Bülbül ware are hidden in the mastery of glassmaking.

The most significant feature of ‘Çeşm-i Bülbül’ ware lies in the visual outcomes obtained by skilfully twisting the glass form during shaping.

Produced under a new name, a new identity with a very special glassmaking technique as one of the products of Beykoz glassmaking that begun in the reign of Selim III, Çeşm-i Bülbül ware has a very special place and meaning in the art glass of Istanbul. 

The first step in the production of Çeşm-i Bülbül ware resembles the first step in the production of any handmade glass body.
The blowing iron is immersed into molten frit and rotated to wrap the starter bubble around.
Then, the pipe is slowly blown and the glass at the top is rotated and inflated to obtain a small bubble. 

This hot glass bubble is rotated horizontally in a special mould and pressed to a cylindrical shape.
In the meantime, preformed coloured glass sticks are placed into their slots in another mould.
Hot glass expands when put into this mould and inflated; it then adheres to cold glass sticks and the whole combination starts to warm up together.

The hot glass body is taken out of the mould and rotated in air to cool down the glass and warm up the sticks on top.
The glass cylinder is re-immersed into the pot and another hot glass layer is wrapped onto the coloured glass sticks on the outer surface.
Thus, the coloured glass sticks are stuck between two clear glass layers.
The top of the glass body is pressed and rotated with a special grip and extended to enable the tops of the glass sticks to merge together.

The glass body is reheated and placed into the mould to be inflated to take its final shape.
Incidentally, the glass in the mould is rotated in a certain direction to twist the sticks – the signature of Çeşm-i Bülbül – in the proper manner. 

The whole course of these processes must be completed in a short period of time.
The preformed glass is in a very hot and candent during all of these production steps.
Therefore, it is possible to see neither the coloured sticks, nor whether or not these have reached the necessary twist.

The colours of the sticks can only be seen at the completion of the production, when the glass starts to cool down.
That is when the glassmaker can see their product.





Source; Önder Küçükerman, Türkiye’nin Kültür Mirası, 100 Cam, Ntv yayınları, İst.2008
Önder Küçükerman, Boğaziçi Camcılığının Ünlü eserleri; Çeşmibülbüller, Türkiyemiz, Akbank yayını, S.66, İst 1992
Önder Küçükerman, Çeşmibülbül, Cam Ustalığının Renkli Şiiri, Antik Dekor,S.12, İst.1993

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