Gem And Craft: The Technique

In Pursuit of The Artisans of Grand Bazaar

By Rezan Has Museum

Living Treasure (2017) by Selim Süme-Esra ÖzdoğanRezan Has Museum

The tradition of mastership at the Grand Bazaar is an extension of the Ehl-i Hıref organization, otherwise known as the master-apprentice production system particular to the Ottoman Empire. The traditional ‘master’ figure is inherently the person that leaves a strong enough impact on the young apprentice to shape his entire profession. The master’s protective role and, as well as his powerful and effective influence like a father figure, are the most critical and determining factors for the prospective master in training.

Founding (2017) by Çınar NarterRezan Has Museum

Founding is one of the oldest mass metal shaping methods. The earliest use of this method can be seen in Mesopotamia in 2600 B.C. The method entails pouring melted metal into a heat-proof mold and letting it take on the desired shape once it is solidified; main mold is entirely covered and fixated with sheet rubber, heated, and pressed. Once it cools off, the rubber is cut and separated into two without harming the original model and the metal model is extracted. Since the interior of the rubber mold takes on the shape of the main model, beeswax can be injected into the mold to obtain the desired number of models.

Ring. Rubellite (2017) by Selim Süme-Esra ÖzdoğanRezan Has Museum

By Agop Kuyumcuoğlu.
Ring. Rubellite, diamond, 24K gold.
In the traditional school, the transition period from apprentice to master can be summarized as follows: A young boy of 9 or 10 is entrusted with a workshop to be trained as an apprentice. The apprentice-assistant period continues together for nearly 8 or 9 years. By 18, the boy is sent to military service and, upon his return at the age of 19–20, he opens his own workshop with the consent of his master.

Master Jeweler (2017) by Çınar NarterRezan Has Museum

A lapidary is the master that turns raw material into a finished product. In Turkish professional jargon, he is also known as ‘sadeci.’ On his counter, metal is shaped only through mechanical processes without any heat exposure; the lapidary uses not mechanical mass production techniques. He is familiar with all areas of specialization and shapes his process with this knowledge as part of the production flow.

Polisher (2017) by Çınar NarterRezan Has Museum

Polishing is a metal abrasion method. Usually after applying an abrasive, the metal is polished or buffed with a brush or work wheel filled with pounce and polishing components to create shine. Polishing can be done by brushing or similar mechanic abrasive methods, as well as through chemical, ultrasonic, or electrolytic methods today.

Detail of the Swan Earcuff (2017) by Selim Süme-Esra ÖzdoğanRezan Has Museum

By Arman Suciyan.
Swan earcuff. Ruby, brown diamond, black diamond, black rhodium plated silver, white gold

Stone-Setter (2017) by Çınar NarterRezan Has Museum

Mounting entails the setting of the precious or semi-precious stones into the slots for stones reserved on the metal shaped as part of a certain design. The process can be executed in three different methods: bezeling, pressing and setting. The kinds of setting are divided into two categories as Alaturka (Turkish –style) and Alafranga (European-style), depending on the kind of the precious stone. Alaturka setting is solely used for rose-cut diamonds.

Engraver (2017) by Çınar NarterRezan Has Museum

This is a kind of engraving or chasing applied with steel pens (kalem) on metal sheets. Kakma is applied by hammering a non-sharp tool called kalem on sheet metal to create various designs. The kalem master is called kalemkâr. Drawing freehand on the sheet, the master later engraves the sheet using a kalem and obtains a three-dimensional figure

Enameler (2017) by Çınar NarterRezan Has Museum

Enameling is a metal decoration technique and entails the partial or complete application of vitreous glaze of different colors to a metal object. After fusing different metallic oxides with powdered glass, the resulting mixture is applied to the desired spot on the metal and is kilned. This decorative technique takes advantage of the fact that the melting point of glass is lower than that of the noble metal to which it is applied. The original traditional technique is the hot enamel technique

Enamel ring (2017) by Selim Süme-Esra ÖzdoğanRezan Has Museum

By Berç Kazancı.
Kazayağı sytle ring. Enamel, gold, diamond, ruby

Granulation (2017) by Çınar NarterRezan Has Museum

Granulation in jewelry is a surface composition technique created by applying spherules of precious metal on sheet metal. The earliest examples of this technique are encountered in Mesopotamia in 2500 B.C. Spreading towards the Mediterranean Basin from Mesopotamia, this technique has become a mode of production and a style of jewelry production over time. Today, the Mediterranean strip, including Turkey offers examples of local handcrafted granulation

Furnace Master (2017) by Çınar NarterRezan Has Museum

The furnace is the place where metals such as silver and gold are melted in graphite crucibles and turned into wire or sheet (undercoat). Depending on the formal characteristics of the product, this stage prepares the raw material for production. As extremely high heat is required to melt silver and gold, the classic method uses hard coal in the furnace. However, taking advantage of today’s mechanical industry, the process can be executed in gas-operated or electrical furnaces as well

Engraved locket (2017) by Selim Süme-Esra ÖzdoğanRezan Has Museum

By Berç Melikyan.
Engraved locket, Swallows and Woman. Diamond, 8K gold, silver, pear.

Precious Metal Dealers (2017) by Çınar NarterRezan Has Museum

Literally meaning exchange, mübayaa is also the name give to the place that sells pure gold and silver. Exchanging the valuable bars owned by individuals or firms in jewelry business with pure metal for a certain fee is called mübayaacılık and the person conducting this business is called a mübayaacı

Elephant ring (2017) by Selim Süme-Esra ÖzdoğanRezan Has Museum

By Kader Yıldız.
Elephant ring. Ebony, ivory, diamond, coral, ruby

Sweeper (2017) by Çınar NarterRezan Has Museum

Ramatçılık is the process of recovering invisible gold particles by fire or electrolysis. As gold is processed in jewelry workshops, the particles that get mixed up in air, water, or dust can be as high as five percent. As a workshop’s capital is the content of metal, minimizing the loss of precious metals is critical and thus requires this method. The residues obtained from the workshop are first burned in high heat. The remaining ashes are applied a chemical process in titanium cauldrons and gold is thus recovered. Finally, the mulch in the bottom is melted in high hear with silver in a pot. Hence, all the metals in the mulch are recovered

General view 1 (2017) by Selim Süme-Esra ÖzdoğanRezan Has Museum

Eight Artisans of the Bazaar (2017) by Serkan BayraktaroğluRezan Has Museum

“Eight artisans of the Bazaar”
Video, 12'18''
Serkan Bayraktaroğlu

Credits: Story

Curators: Ayşe Coşkun & Yonca Kösebay Erkan
Coordinator: Zeynep Çulha
Project Asistants: Nazlı Yayla, Ecem Aslan
Exhibition Design: PATTU
Video Design and Production: Serkan Bayraktaroğlu
Illustration: Çınar Narter
Acknowledgements
İstanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri İstanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Pera Müzesi
Atatürk Kitaplığı
Topkapı Sarayı
SALT Araştırma
F. Gülrû Tanman
Rukiye Kuneralp
Pınar Çulha Moler
Arman Suciyan
Rıdvan Gürün
Fuat Kırgız
Taşkın Temeller
Aret Çakıcı
Hraç Aslanyan
Çınar Narter
Gülbahar Baran Çelik BurcuYağız
Tahsin Demir
Azize Gelir Çelebi

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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