The Art of Glass and Ceramic Tile Painting
Learn about Turkish glass and ceramic tile painting at the Anatolian Cultural Festival in LA, with YaKenda McGahee.
Yekenda: Hamdin Turgay is fascinated with shameron the half woman, half snake symbol
of health and well being that still popular in the mardin region of Turkey. After he
retired Hamdin opened his own work shop and started painting this beautiful
symbol on glass and other mediums.
Hamdin: After I retired I opened my own workshop and started doing glass painting. This
is the Ottoman glass painting and has been done for nearly 200 to 250 years.
Usually the symbol of shameron is popularly done is glass painting, other stuffs
like sitti’s and some other shapes can be done too. I really like to paint shameron,
shameron belongs to our region most specifically the Mesopotamian region. The
legend behind shameron is that one day a man accidentally fell into a well very
soon he gave up all hope, but lo and behold, he saw a big hole that opened up to
the whole new world. He went inside and beheld a half lady, half snake creature
Shameron gave food to eat and healed his wounds and then she let him out but
made him promise that he would keep her existence a secret. Later on this man
learned that an emperor of a near by land was seriously ill and who ever made
him better would be awarded a lot of money and also be offered one of the
emperors daughter in marriage. The royal doctors informed the emperor that the
meat of the shameron would cure him completely. Upon hearing this, this guy
betrays the shameron by telling them where she lived and then of course
shameron is killed and then the emperor gets well. This is why even today
shameron is the symbol of health and well being of several regions in Turkey.
Yekenda: Hamdin treats us too a little demonstration.
Although the art of ceramic tile painting on shinei was practiced much before the
Ottoman Regime, It was during the reign of these great sultans that it was given
new life. Shinei tiles adorn the walls of several world mass and palaces and today
because of artist like Nurgul Erdogan Uslu this art form still flourishes in Turkey.
Nurgul: My specialization is in the art of ceramics or shinei. I make my products from soil
and after that I decorate them. Finally I glazed them and put them and put them in
the oven and then display them like this. I’ve been doing this art for 12 years. The
art of ceramics first started in the Celtic Empire in Konia later on during the
Ottoman Empire it continued in Isnic, Bursa and Kataya.
Ceramics are popular in different parts of Turkey today. I am constantly inspired
by nature, Nevlanah Rumic and the whirling dervishes.
Yekenda: Nurgul gives us a preview of her admirable talents.
Nurgul: These ceramics right here are made from soil and we take this and decorate them.
First we draw our design with the pencil after that we go over them with special
paints that are made out of soil especially for ceramics. So this is how we go over
the pencil marks with paint. We fill the black spaces in by coloring them like so.
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