My students call me Hocam, pronounced hojam. It is hard to find a specific meaning for the word, as it does not directly translate to professor, teacher or master. I have read that it was used to address teachers back in Ottoman times when education was held in the Medreses. Students in Turkey call their professors by their first names followed by Hocam or just Hocam. Colleagues also address each other this way and the people they respect.
My class began surface decoration with slips on their handmade earthenware tiles this week. I showed them how to use decals as an option for one of the many layers of surface they will use on their tiles. The tiles will become a hanging panel.
I have been trying to do a bit of my own work in between my teaching duties and Fulbright activities. I have been working with decals, both laser and overglaze on porcelain plates. I was able to have some decals screened in the silkscreen shop at the Fine Arts Faculty and I hope to have results to show you soon. They were made from images I have taken on this trip.
The Glass program at Anadolu University is one of the biggest and best I have ever seen. I have just a few pictures here for you to get an idea of its scope. In encompasses hot glass and flameware and includes large slumping kilns, along with many grinders, cutters and polishers. I have been working with my colleague and glass master, Ekrem Kula, to prepare for a pate de verre, achieved by melting glass in a mold using a lost wax process. I am using a 3D model I scanned and printed at UF for my form. Yesterday, we made mold of three beeswax models I made from the original model. We plan to burn out the wax and melt glass next week. I learn so much working with Ekrem Hocam!
Another highlight was going with my colleague and “office mate,” Dr. Goktug Gunkaya, to the Vitra factory. Goktug is a materials engineer AND teaching faculty in the Faculty of Fine Arts, Ceramic/Glass Department. It has been amazing working so closely with someone with his knowledge. We had a tour of the sanitary ware factory (think Kohler in the US but bigger and more innovative).
The factory was very impressive. Their design sense is fantastic. They are doing very well and are getting ready to open a factory in Russia due to demand there. Their showroom had designers design bathrooms for the future, which were all great. They are working on translucent tiles, programmable showers, touch pad faucets, etc. etc. They are using pressurized slip casting for large items – I have only seen it used for handles and plates. They use polyurethane molds in some cases, which last much longer than traditional and heavy plaster molds. They have robots glazing, but the work is labor intensive as you can imagine. Overall, amazing!
I am on my way back to Izmir for the EgeArt Festival. I will be presenting and exhibiting there. We had snow showers in Eskisehir today so I am happy to head towards the Aegean and some warmth.
Disclaimer: This is not an official Department of State website, and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the Department of State.