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Turkish Tile and Ceramics Art Tradition in Anatolia

As it is known, Turkish architecture and art were full of bright developments in 16th century.
During this period of development, tile and ceramics art and technique were also significantly developed. It is also known that this “fired clay art and tradition” was played an important role, proved outstanding developments at decoration of both interior and outer surfaces of architectural structures during Ottoman and Seljuk periods.

Like many other civilization; this art matured after many developments along the many phases in Anatolia. As far as it is known, the first tiles in Anatolia were obtained by very simple techniques. Material, colors and application methods are simple and limited on these early samples. Sometimes glazed, sometimes unglazed ceramics were used on these samples. The glazed ones were in limited colors in the beginning periods. But having experience for the years the techniques were developed and the products of tile and ceramics became indispensible decoration element of the large structures in 16th century.
For more information see ...Tile / Ceramics in Anatolia

Eastern porcelains in Turkish Palace
Use of Eastern porcelain in Turkish Palace gained special importance like all over the world.
This opinion is supported by the richness of Chinese porcelain collection, belonging Palace and specific groups, members of Palace, which are in Topkapı Palace Museum now. This collection, consisting of 10100 pieces, is the largest and the most famous one in the world.
While others were used in the kitchen for daily needs, very precious ones were kept in the treasure
But of course the used ones were also preserved with great care.

Sometimes, these porcelains were not used as they came. Some of them were decorated with precious Stones, and adding some materials made of gold and silver new combinations of work were searched. The precious stones were embedded on these porcelains, which were made in China, by “inlay” technique. This is seen on the products such as ewer, censers, plates, bowls and cups.
The motifs, which were used on Turkish fabrics, velvets and embroidery, are also seen on these porcelains.

The reason of such process on these porcelains, which are named “Murassa “ ,could be that the Turkish artists had their own habits of performing their traditional arts or might be efforts of finding out new identity.

First Celebrity center of hot art in Anatolia: Tile craftwork of Iznik.
In Iznik rather special and different products of tile and ceramics were produced comparing to other production centers of Anatolia in the second half of 15th century and in the beginning of 17th century. In fact during those periods both ceramics and tile production were widely spread out. But the second half of 16th Century was the most brilliant period of Ottoman Empire.
Increasing of demand for large buildings in this period was brought priority to the tile art on the walls of these structures, and obviously ceramics production in Iznik lost its importance.

Tile craftwork did not only produce wall tiles. Besides these tiles, it is famous with spectacular decorations in bright white and coral colors which were used widely in 16th century. During the same periods there were some important developments of ceramics craftwork tradition in Kütahya.
The end of 17th century was standstill period. Accordingly Iznik tile craftwork disappeared entirely in 18th century. In the meantime tile craftwork begins to shine in Kütahya.

In terms of technology used for tile craftwork in İznik there were two separate periods. In fact these two separate periods depend on the changes of the properties on the technology used. The main reasons of these changes were raw materials and the production innovations.
1 - Red mud period: It is between 1339 – 1548. Tile clay had reddish view with white grays in it in this first period. So, this was regarded as characteristic of the works which were produced in Iznik during this period.
2 – White mud period: It begins almost in the end of 15th century. The color of the clay, used in this period, was yellowish-white. The texture was dense and fine. In practice, it was obtained some kind of future of glass. In this way, the colors were more clean and bright, also given the opportunity of working with brush for more subtle patterns.

Decreasing of usage of tile craftwork at architecture in Anatolia after 16th century, was an important reason of causing decline of tile craftwork. Because this craftwork was directly depended on the material which was expensive and obtained hardly. Due to the decrease in usage of tile the sector began to seek cheaper ways of production. Thus, tile industry enters rapidly into the decline period.
For more information see İznik Tiles

Tradition of Kütahya Ceramics and Tile
The production almost stopped towards the end of 17th century. But, ceramics and tile craftwork in Kütahya did not have such kind of standstill period. Although the development of this industry slowed down depending on various reasons time to time, it could reach up to the present. The traditional tile craftwork of Kütahya, started in the end of 16th century, came to the present and development still continues.

Tile craftwork of Iznik was produced mostly for palace and society close to the palace, whereas traditional ceramics and tile craftwork in Kütahya was for daily needs, and this caused continuity. But despite this fact that there were good samples of production in 18th century, became dim in 19th century.
For more information see.  Kütahya Çini ve  (Tile) and Ceramics Art

Porcelain production and the first factory in Anatolia
Ceramics and tile craftwork in Anatolia are traditional arts of Anatolia for hundreds of years. But, during the first years of European porcelain production, which started after obtaining enough information from China, hundred years of tradition in Anatolia faced changes and problems. Therefore,
production in this traditional craftwork was reduced due to various reasons. In connection with this the demand could not meet.
A new idea of, specially developing the technology and reviving this old tradition of Anatolia came up due to the needs of daily products in the palace as well as the whole country.

One of the first significant initiatives for porcelain production in İstanbul was launched in Beykoz.
The marks were hand written, in red color and in «» shaped on the porcelains produced in the factory which was built by Fethi Pahsa with western technology in 1862.
The documents are really limited about this factory, but it is thought that it was produced luxury porcelain products here rather than daily needs. The factory was closed in 1975.

During Abdülhamit II Period (1876 – 1909), a tile factory in the garden of Yıldız Palace was built to meet the need of porcelains products for the Palace with domestic conditions as well as the desire of obtaining really more valuable porcelain products. The original structure of factory which is survived until today was designed by architecture Raimondo d’ Araneo, who was working for Abdulhamit
Here it was started producing very attentive products for the Palace and its surroundings.
Technical interpretations of the products such as “Ceramics, Tile, Majolika, Soft Porcelain, Hard Porcelain” which were widely used in hot artistic areas are really important
Because these kinds of products carry various messages with respect of art, although they were limited with the technology used in that period.

Although this fired material accepted as one group of material, it has got wide variety with respect of technical characteristics, ingredients and production processes. In this range, Yıldız factory, which was built with the latest technology of the period, became an important centre to improve the technology to support revival of traditional tile craftwork of Anatolia. In fact, the tile which appears as new, was really close to the one which glazed with bright colors on the walls of Anatolia for ages, and poetries were written about, seems also affected by the technological developments of Palace’s new plant.
Besides all of these, such a difficult technique was brought forward by the famous artists of that period, and it is interesting that the daily products sold in the market, was even produced such technique. Many products for famous people and organizations from various countries were produced in this country.
The only factory which worked in 1917 was “Yıldız Tile Imperial Factory”.  The name of the factory was amended as “Yıldız Çini ve Porselen Sanayii Müessesesi” in 1917. Today, it can easily be seen from its products that it is the oldest factory of Turkey which continues its production.

Raw material used in porcelain is kaolin 50%, quartz 25 % and feldspar combination 25 %
Porcelain clay vitrify, transparent, suitable for long term use, fired at 1385 – 1400 °C
Under glazing: decoration applied under the glaze on porcelain is generally referred to as underglaze
Underglazes are applied to the surface of the pottery which can be either raw, "greenware", or "bisque" fired .Color choice is rather limited. It is fired at 1400 °C
Over glazing: Decoration applied on top of a layer of glaze is referred to as overglaze. Overglaze methods include applying one or more layers or coats of glaze on a piece of pottery or by applying a non-glaze substance such as enamel or metals. It is fired at 750 – 800 °C: This technique is widely used.




Source: Önder Küçükerman, Dünya Saraylarının Prestij Teknolojisi Porselen Sanatı ve Yıldız Çini Fabrikası, Sümerbank Yayınları   

    Adnan Çoker, Osman Hamdi Ve Sanayi-İ Nefise Mektebi Mimar Sinan Üniversitesi Yayını, «Toplu Sergiler 8», 1983, İstanbul

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    Nedret Bayraktar, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesindeki İstanbul Manzaralı Yıldız Porselenleri Sanat Dünyamız, Yıl 5, Sayı 15, 1979, İstanbul

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