The Art of Tile Making from Ottoman Empire to Today

The Ottoman-Iznik(Nicea) ceramics(chini) made between the years 1400-1700 have had a special place in the history of art. The tiles made in that era are exceptionally rich in terms of motifs, patterns, compositions, and forms. In almost every masterpiece the most beautiful flowers of nature like tulips, hyacinths, daisies, carnations, and roses. The most important feature of the veramics made in that period is that they were made of quartz. This is a hard mineral substance chemically made of silicon dioxide. It is at the same time, the hardest and the and whitest stone fond in nature. The whiteness of quartz always gives depth to underglazed ceramics. Thus an unrivaled beauty emerged here.
Another feature is that the application of boron glaze in the Ottoman-Iznik ceramics until the 17th century enabled people to use ceramics(chini) in daily life as kitchen untesils. The plates began to be used to eat food in and vases to drink water and sherbet from. Moreover, many vases and objects were made for decorative purposes. The forms dexterously shaped on a potters wheel are fired in kiln at 1000 °C then elaborately designed, colored and glazed. Afterwards, it is fired once more in a kiln to harden and give the lustrous look. All the products looking white in the kiln, turn red, depending on the temperature. Only in this way do the whiteness and other colors emerge. Up to 905 of Ottoman-ıznik ceramics are exhibited in  British Museum,  Victoria and Albert Museum, Louvre, Coloust Gulbenkian Foundation Museum in Lisbon, and many other special and state collections in Europe.
We, as Lalezar Chini,continue producing our ceramicswith 87% quartz compositions as a result of painstaking researches. Through the consequences of researches as of July 2009, we managed to produce pieces made of boron glaze instead of lead glaze, enabling them to use in daily life. they can be safely used for cold and hot food and drinks in your kitchen and are dishwasher safe.

Selahattin TEK

Selahattin Tek Master Selahattin (Usta*) Tek was born in Kutahya in 1966. He manufactured replicas of 15th and 16th century Iznik for almost 15 years. With the experience he gained during this reproduction period, he began to experiment with quartz silt, which is the main element in Iznik ceramic tradition. As he started using quartz, as he states, he realized that this element was the key point in the art of Iznik ceramics. Since 2007, Selahattin Usta makes all his tiles, vases, plates, and panels with silt made from 87.5% quartz in composition. Another important point in his works is, he managed to produce pieces made from boric glaze instead of leaded glaze since 2009 enabling them to be used in daily life. Pieces are dishwasher safe and can be safely used for food and beverage, cold and hot.

Usta is master in Turkish.