This week brought a couple surprises.  One was from my students that brought a feast of Turkish food for class on Thursday!  What a great way to start the day!  Next week is midterm so it was a busy 6-hour class.  I am very excited about the work they are making.

I had some new studio experiences working with glass.  The Ceramics and Glass Departments at Anadolu University were merged over the summer.   I am working closely with a number of glass faculty.  It has been great learning more about this medium, so close to clay yet so different.  Thanks to Esin, my research assistant for class, I had one of my 3D scanned and printed models sand casted.  The extra glass from the process seems to add to the form so I will likely keep it on.  Then, I worked with Ekrem Kula, internationally know glass artist, to begin work on some pate de verre  glass.  He taught me how to make a bee’s wax model from a plaster mold of my 3D model.

On Tuesday,  Sinem my Turkish tutor, took me to the Aya Glass Studio at the Odunpazarı, in the old town of Eskisehir.  I watch her talented boyfriend Murat blow a beautiful vase in a well-equipped studio in an historical building.  He surprised me the next day with the vase as a gift.

I took the bus to Bursa this morning, then took a mini-bus to Iznik, the home of the famous tiles.  After 4 hours of travel, I checked into an interesting hotel on the lake.  The view included part of the Roman wall that circled the city.  I headed to my main goal, the Iznik Museum, only to find the lovely building gutted and closed. That was not a surprise I wanted to have.

The only historic tile I saw on Iznik was on one of the historical mosque’s minarets and it was not original to the building. Although production here died centuries ago, there has been a revival of small potteries producing tourist ware.  I found a couple unique things, but was largely disappointed.  The hotel manager told me about a “professor” of ceramics so I went to that studio before heading back to my room.  The work was very well done and spanned a number of styles from around Turkey and through history.  While in the showroom, I noticed people in the studio adjacent and asked if I could come in.  I was invited in and luckily there was a friend visiting that spoke very good English.  I was even invited for tea (wonderfully typical) and had a chance to learn about the potter and his wife.  I bought a traditional hand made tile and returned to my hotel satisfied that the bumpy bus ride here was worth it.

Tomorrow, I will be in Bursa for the day.  It was on the Silk Road as I continue my travels on it.  I’ll see what surprises that city might bring.

Class feast Glass Sand Casting Casting with Ekrem Glass Blowing Murat blowing Murat gift Iznik Iznik Museum sign Iznek 3

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.