China China Tile Exhibition

Work Description

The obelisks were created from Seljuk tiles combined with Bayburt stone.


“The basis of tile art, which is used as a kind of decorative art, dates back to the 9th century. In the early development of Islamic architecture, Turkish states such as the Uighurs, Ghaznavids, Karakhanids and the Great Seljuks in Iran are leading the way. The remains of tiles were also found during excavations in the city of Samarra, which was founded by the Abbasid state for Turkish soldiers and is located north of Baghdad. Anadolu Seljuks tile decoration was discovered in the 13th century the instance of first in architecture. After all these processes, tile has taken on the role of the main decorative element of the Islamic world. Mosaic tile decoration also exists in the Karaman Principality, which is the closest follower of Seljuk art; however, it has been used in wider plaster decoration areas. During the Ottoman period, it was continued as a continuation of the Seljuk and Beyliks periods, but the tiles made in Iznik in the middle of the 15th century in the Ottoman Empire are called the nirvana of tile decoration art.
Tile Construction: The tile consists of two main materials. These are earth and secret. (The architecture made with tile material anywhere in Anatolia is called “SIRÇALI”.) The material that is popularly referred to as “clay”, which we call soil silicon, makes the dough more viscous and durable in the art of decking. The soil of the tile pulp was sieved and the unwanted substances in it were cleaned. After this system, small and large sieve pools were created and the soil was sieved here in three stages. Then, the dough is created from the sifted soil and stored in the basement to prevent the dough from contacting the sun. The tile is then placed in a mold by its master and shaped in which wheels are made. It is operated by foot and the shaft rotates the table around the attachment to give the desired shape. The tile is baked for two days in their old oven, while the wood used for burning the stove is usually made of poplar and willow wood, which is preferred because there is not much heat. It was cooked on the stove, which was 850-900°. After cooking, the material is called a “biscuit”. After all these procedures, painting is performed. Painting consists of two methods: if the paint is mixed into the glaze, it is a colored glaze, the other method is to make an underglaze technique. In this technique, the shape is given first, then the edges are contoured and painted and baked a second time. Especially the soil of Kütahya is important for Ottoman period tiles. Tiles are also very important for masters who do this work as well as soil. For this reason, the Kütahya and Iznik tiles of the Ottoman period in the 14th-15th century appear with unique examples. Iznik tiles have always attracted even more attention because of its soil. The second important ingredient of china is glaze. Keeping a secret as a word means keeping it. Its task here is to protect the material located at the bottom, we can say that it is a kind of material used to polish the tile. The raw material of the glaze is glass, that is, sand or quartz melts by increasing the temperature above 1300 ° and takes the form of glass. The glaze is transparent, has a transparent structure. Especially in the Ottoman Empire, the use of transparent glaze was most preferred, although a little colored glaze is also observed.

In our museum, we have a tile exhibition created with obelisks formed by combining the registered Bayburt stone and china. These tiles were inspired by the motifs embroidered in Bayburt Castle and were made by the Iznik Foundation in accordance with the style of tile construction.
Figured tiles, decked out like a dream world, portray memories, talismanic magical beliefs, and among them the sultan himself, palace dignitaries, servants. Eggplant purple, navy blue, firuze (turquoise) colors have generally been preferred.
Double-Headed Eagle: The double eagle symbol used on Artuqid coins and Seljuk structures in Anatolia has been used in fortifications, mosques and madrasas, palaces; as a protective and dominance symbol and as a protector from evil forces. By the way, the double-decked eagle motif was used as a symbol of Aladdin Keykubad during the Seljuk period and has the meaning of “the owner of the east and the west” due to the fact that the heads of the eagles are facing right and left.
Birds: The bird motif, which symbolizes strength and power, has a privileged place in Anatolian symbolism. The bird tells about longing, it is an expression of expectation of news. It is also said that the bird figure represents death and accompanies the soul. The Seljuks are also seen in palaces reflecting the dream world together with the tree of life motif, which means the same thing.
Geometric motifs are formed from the decoupling of geometric shapes in a certain order. Various networks arise from the systematic arrangement of geometric motifs. In the closed geometric embodiment, the motif is finished and integrated within its boundaries. In a clear geometric arrangement, the lines are shaped to last forever. The transitions used in the geometric arrangement are borders formed by systematically combining at certain intervals.
Deer: We are seeing chintemanis, i.e. evil eye beads, placed on deer. Here deer represents the beauty of the structure. The chintemanis, on the other hand, were processed in order not to touch the structure.
Horse: The horse, which is also known as a hunting animal, is the “Turk’s wing.” The horse is the owner’s comrade, he is the partner of victory. Therefore, the importance of the horse is also shown in the tiles.

Arik, R., (2000). Kubad-Abad Seljuk Palace and its Tiles, Işbank Cultural Publications of Turkey, Istanbul.
ÖNEY, G. (1992), Anadolu Selcuklu Architectural Decoration and Crafts, Işbank Publications of Turkey, Istanbul.

YETKIN, Inc. (1993), Tile, TDV Encyclopedia of Islam, C.8, Istanbul, p.329-335.”

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