İznik’s water lilies bound for Japan

İznik’s water lilies bound for Japan

MELİS ALPHAN
İznik’s water lilies bound for Japan

The İznik Training and Education Foundation design team creates unique private collections, murals or architectural projects according to demands from customers. AA photo

The “chini” tiles and pottery produced in İznik during the 15th and 16th centuries represent the cultural and artistic zenith of the Ottoman Empire. Due to a number of reasons, the technical knowledge and documentation used in the production of these tiles and exquisite pottery were unfortunately lost to mankind toward the end of the 17th century with the decline of the Ottoman Empire. However the original wall tiles and pottery remain in palaces and museums all around the world.

The İznik Training and Education Foundation was founded by Professor Dr. Işıl Akbaygil in 1993 with the aim of reviving İznik chini art. Having spent years of research conducting countless experiments, the foundation successfully discovered the secret of the quartz tiles and started producing with the traditional handmade methods of the 16th century.

The foundation has managed to attain this major achievement through the unsparing efforts of the 45-member team of the Ceramic Research Center and the Tiles and Ceramic Corporation along efforts from Istanbul University, Mimar Sinan University, the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and Princeton University.

The design team creates unique private collections, murals or architectural projects according to demands from customers.

Project in Tokai City
A project to be completed by March 2012 by Professor Norihasa Okada in Tokai City, Japan, will display İznik Foundation “chini” tiles specially designed and produced for an order commissioned by the local municipality. The concept is a flower “Nilüfer – water lily” to be installed around a water feature in the center of the park which will be an attraction point for the citizens of Tokai City. The design of the “Nilüfer – water lily” is in the traditional İznik repetitive manner but reflects a contemporary approach to nature.

Highly skilled experts are employed at the foundation’s design department to create designs by studying each case from various sources before reaching a final model under the supervision of experts or masters. The same meticulous care is employed by research and development laboratories to ensure quality and durability to various climatic conditions; systematize the electric kilns; and coordinate the chemical and mechanic stability of the compounds used in the “chini” tile or pottery produced for custom-made orders.

Reproducing the İznik tiles

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

In the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent during the 16th century, the exterior of the Dome of the Rock and the Dome of the Chain on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was covered with İznik tiles.
In 1955, Jordan undertook an extensive program of renovation with funding provided by the governments of Turkey and other Arab countries.

Most recently, the İznik Training and Education Foundation was instructed to reproduce the original İznik tiles of the 16th century for renovations which started in 2009. To reproduce the original colors, the dimensions and technical quality of the existing ancient tiles, the foundation’s workshops and research and development department worked for almost a year and a half to reach its desired result.

İznik, Tokai City, Japan, İznik Foundation, Ottoman Empire