Traditional Arts Using Metal
It is possible to classify traditional arts that use metals as a raw material
according to the kind of metal employed, the purpose of the product, techniques
It is known that in the Roman and Byzantine periods there were developed
metal processing workshops in Anatolia. Beginning with the Seljuks, Islamic
metalwork began to make progress. The Seljuks contributed to the development of
metalwork in the same way that they did to that of many other branches of art.
In this period, there were developed metal workshops in the provinces of
Konya, Mardin, Hasankeyf, Diyarbakır, Cizre, Siirt, Harput, Erzincan and
Erzurum. It is also known that metalwork reached its highest level in Anatolia
and the Balkans during the Ottoman period.
Ottomans metalwork centers are still functioning as centers of copperwork.
These are: Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş, Mardin, Diyarbakır, Siirt, Tokat, Malatya,
Elazığ, Erzurum, Trabzon, Giresun, Ordu, Sivas, Tokat, Kayseri, Çankırı, Çorum,
Kastamonu, Konya, Burdur, Denizli, Afyon, Kütahya, Balıkesir, Bursa, Istanbul
In metal crafts, various techniques including castting, telkari, scraping,
hammer work, tapping, küftgani, savatlama, ajur and cutting are used.
This is used for making doorknockers, kitchen equipment, harnesses, equipment
for architecture, musical instruments etc.
In Anatolia, after the Bronze Age when copper was mixed with tin in order to
produce bronze, metals such as copper, gold and silver were worked with various
techniques such as casting.
Research has shown that the history of copper working is very ancient and
that copper mines have long been operating in Anatolia. Copper, which occupies
an important place in Anatolian art, is also easily obtained.
Copper is widely used in daily life for pots, jewellery, helmets, and
doorknockers and to decorate doors.
Copper is the mostly widely used metal. There are four techniques employed
for making copper pots. These are: wroughting, casting, plating and pressing.
Today, copper is widely used for kitchen equipment, where the metal is plated
The knife, a cutting instrument consisting of a handle and a sharp-bladed
body, has been in use in Anatolia since prehistoric times. Sadly, however, very
information is available about the development of the knife.
Knives are named according to their shapes such as; pala, hançer, gaddane and
saldırma. Their handles are plated with ebony, ivory, siver or gold. The blades
of knives made for the palace were decorated with different precious stones such
as diamonds, coral, rubies and emeralds.
In the middle of 19th century, knives made by hand gave way to those made by
machine, and knife making improved. Today, we see table knives made of rustproof
steel with stable handles, and collapsible pocket knives.
In some regions of Anatolia, knife handles are still decorated with various
Gold and Silverwork:
Thin gold is worked in order to create three-dimensional objects, with
various designs on them just before they loses their heat and while they are
still pliable. Telkari is used for jewellery, cup holderss, boxes and mascara
This method is usually employed with silver. Small holes opened on the
surface of the metal are filled with a special black solution. There are three
types of savat; plain, serrated and carved. Boxes, watches, cup holders and
cigarette holders are made with the technique.