Handmade Turkish Ceramics

Handmade Turkish Ceramics

A Passion for Color

How It's Made

Our Turkish ceramics are handmade in Kütahya, a city in western Turkey on the Porsuk River.

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In Kütahya's old neighborhoods you will see traditional Ottoman houses made of alternating layers of wood and stucco. Kütahya also has many beautifully tiled historic mosques, and the town preserves some ancient ruins of a Byzantine castle and church.

Source: Photo 1 | Photo 2 | Photo 3 | Photo 4

The use of colorful motifs and patterns is a trademark of Turkish ceramics and the company that makes them for us takes great pride in their workmanship. They have developed a delicate process which makes their handmade products both suitable for daily use and food safe for hot and cold meals.

The company also strongly supports a woman’s role in business life and hires many women in their work force. Their production line starts with raw material production and moves all the way through to final product packaging.

They use high grade raw materials that are mixed in a slow mixer using a proprietary clay recipe to ensure the best quality. Once they are finished mixing, they are transferred to a filter press to remove any excess water. The clay slices are then ready to be shaped.

Different shaping techniques are used to produce different types of ceramics such as plates, bowls, cups, and decorative items.

No matter the technique, the first step is determining how much clay is needed for the piece. This is called Clay Sizing.

One shaping technique is Slip Casting which uses molds in order to make complex shaped pieces. The clay used for slip casting has more liquid so the clay can be poured into the securely fastened molds.

Once the clay has set enough to retain the shape of the mold, the mold is removed. The ceramics are rather rough at this stage and the edges are trimmed and smoothed, then air-dried before going into the kiln.

Press Shaping is the technique used for rectangular shaped pieces and ones with heights no more than 7cm. Most of the ceramic plates, platters, and appetizer sets are produced by ceramic presses.

Bowls, mugs, and cups use a technique called Jiggering which uses one mold to form the outside shape of the piece, while another solid mold forms the inside as it turns.

When shaping is complete, each piece must be retouched to smooth out the clay, especially where any seams are left from the molds or presses. Biscuit (or bisque) is what pottery is called when it’s at the stage of its manufacturing where it has not yet been fired or glazed, but has dried enough that it holds its shape and is not easily deformed.

Biscuit is fired in kilns for 8 hours at 1050 degrees, then allowed to cool for another 5 hours. This controls the temperature and prevents the ceramics from cracking.

After the biscuit is cool, painting can begin. Some classic ceramic patterns are Dantel, Relief, Aegea, Pastel, and Iznik, as well as modern designs. Most of the ceramics we bought are Dantel. Dantel is a Turkish word meaning a delicate, decorative, symmetrical pattern.

The shape of the ceramic piece often determines the pattern. The colors are prepared using the clay recipe with color pigments. This is one of the most critical steps of the handmade Turkish ceramic production. The pattern is first drawn with pencil, brush or sponge. The painting is applied with a brush, pump paint, or even glaze painting. Relief design is drawn by scraping the pattern into the clay.

With the painting finished, each piece is inspected closely and touched up if necessary before glazing. They are then transferred to the glazing unit for the final step of the process.

We’d love to see how you’re using your Turkish Ceramics. Post your photos on Instagram at @southeasternsalvage or on Twitter at @SESHomeEmporium

Southeastern Salvage Home Emporium, Turkish Ceramics $2 to $39

This website is designed to give customers a general idea of the type of products we sell.
Products, Styles, Colors, and Prices may vary by store. Prices subject to change without notice.
If you are looking for something specific, please confirm availability and price with the store.