Iznik tiles of the Ottoman empire

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2010, 18:10 PM IST

Istanbul: The Ottoman rulers decorated much of the walls of Topkapi Palace with Iznik tiles, which were made of quartz and beautifully painted with blue coloured designs.

Around 80 percent of the tile is made of quartz and it was baked in wooden kilns. Semiprecious stones were ground and used to give it the blue colour with flowers, leaves and trees used as motifs.

The ancient art of pottery making has been kept alive in some parts of Turkey, and some of the choice decorated ceramic ware comes from Cappadocia in central Turkey.

Potters use the kickwheel, an ancient technique that began in the region more than 3,000 years ago. "The kickwheel is a technique used by the Egyptians," Abdullah, the owner of Omurlu Ceramic, a ceramic workshop based in Avanos in Nevsehir, Cappadocia, told this visiting IANS correspondent.

Abdullah`s workshop houses beautiful samples of Turkish ceramic pottery. It is his family profession, six generations old, that he is keeping alive.

They have tried to revive the art of Iznik tile-making but do not use the 80 percent quartz in tiles as was originally used. "It becomes too expensive and quartz is very rough on the hands, it causes cuts and bruises," says Abdullah.

IANS

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