By Justin Mays:
Ceramics is possibly one of the most characteristic arts of Turkey. In fact, the most popular technique is known as çini and refers to those ceramic objects, whether tiles or plates, which are decorated with colorful motifs. To make çini pottery, it is first necessary to model the clay, and then, once dry, trace and paint shapes and figures of all colors.
Crafts, in this case, ceramics, form an indisputable and very important part of Turkish culture, in the same way, that gastronomy and hospitality do, among many others. In the case of the çini technique, it is considered that it symbolizes a way to express oneself, it is a way of capturing in clay what the person who molds it feels or thinks. In addition, it is also thought that it is a way of reinforcing the link between the past and the present of the country.
Although this is the most traditional ceramic technique in Turkey, this type of craft has also been evolving in recent years. In addition, in the last five years, interest in this art has been increasing. Many see ceramics as a way to connect with themselves, relax, and even almost meditate. After all, when you are molding ceramics, you cannot do more than think about the movements that your hands make and how the clay adapts to these movements.
In fact, one of the things most valued by those who make ceramics, whether by hobby or profession, is the simple fact that clay is one of the most adaptable materials that exist. When making ceramics, contrary to what happens with glass or wood, the chances of making a mistake are very low since you can always start over, without having to discard the used material.
Fortunately, Istanbul has many workshops where one can learn and enjoy this wonderful art. Ceramics is a truly grateful practice since you yourself create objects with your hands that will accompany you for a lifetime, or at least for a long time. If you want to delve into this exciting world, here are four workshops in which you can expand your artistic soul.
Entering this site is like entering a temple that pays homage to ceramics. Fiz Ceramics is a ceramics workshop located near Osmanbey, in the Sisli district. The studio is very cozy, it's as if there was a parallel world in Nisantasi, where light, peace, and inspiration sprout from all sides. It is a small workshop but has all the necessary utensils to make ceramics.
The history of Fiz Ceramics dates back to 2014, when the owner of this workshop, a graduate in Plastic Arts, decided to create a space to teach all the necessary techniques to make ceramics to those interested and, at the same time, design her own products to sell to different customers.
In the beautiful neighborhood of Balat, located in the Fatih district, there is also Seramica, a ceramics studio founded in 2003 by İsmail Öztürk. The owner of this studio, in addition to teaching, also works on his projects. The most important so far has been 'Removable Wall Panels', which was selected as the best piece of the third International Istanbul Triennale.
Currently, this studio offers different options for those who want to learn or continue learning ceramics: hobby, semi-professional, professional, individual, and workshop studies. The price of the courses is quite affordable since it is between 500 and 700 Turkish liras for four days of class per month, four hours each day.
Third, we introduce you to Atöye Art-Ist, a ceramics studio located in the Fatih district. Like many of the workshops that one can find in Istanbul, this one not only offers workshops and courses but also sells handmade ceramics under its brand: CEYSCERAMIC.
Although Atöye Art-Ist is mainly oriented toward ceramics, it also offers other artistic modalities, such as oil painting, sculpture, and charcoal. The main objective of its owner is to transfer all her creative knowledge to people who want to be part of his workshop so that the number of art lovers increases.
Yıldız Seramik Atölyesi
Finally, we introduce you to Yıldız Seramik Atölyesi, a cozy pottery workshop located in the Beyoglu district. The workspace of this studio and that of Fiz Ceramics are similar, as is the use that both make of their Instagram profiles, where they usually show the pieces made by their students.
As we already know, Yıldız Seramik Atölyesi is mainly oriented towards ceramics, but they are specialized in different ways of making it. In this sense, in this studio, you will be able to learn how to make tiles, sculpt by hand, make mosaics, and design gift products, among others.
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