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Ottoman Touch: Traditional Decorative Arts and Crafts

by Mehmet Zeki Kusoglu

Let’s discover the subtle secrets of classical decorative arts and crafts of the Ottoman period, depicted with lucid texts and vivid images in the book.

: Oct 15, 2015 • 178 Pages • 9.5 x 8.75 • ISBN 9781935295587
: Art & Photography, Backlist,
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The Ottoman Touch is an introduction to the classical arts and crafts of the Ottoman period. Being both an academic and artist, Kusoglu discovers the subtle secrets of various traditional arts and crafts, depicting them with lucid texts and vivid images. This book deserves to be a handbook for all who are interested in the Ottoman and Turkish history and art. Calligraphy, marbling, silver embossing, decorative beading, incrustation and many more are waiting to be discovered by avid readers.
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Savat (Niello)
Kalem Work (Engraving)
Silver Embossing
Telkari (Filigree)
Turkish Style Incrustation
Güherse (Decorative Beading)
The Seal in the Art of Engraving
Ottoman Cup Holders
Tepelik (Headdress Ornament)
From Talisman to Ornament
Ottoman Belts and Buckles
Ornamented Back of Mirrors
Bazubend: The Pride of the Brave
Silver Mushaf Cases
İbriks (Ewers)
Turkish Spoons and Spoon-makers
Old Turkish Door Knockers
Turkish Bracelets
Karagöz: Turkish Shadow Play
Tophane Pipe
Turkish Tombstones and the “Huwa’l-Baqi” (He Is The Everlasting One) Inscription
Ottoman Visiting Cards
Mother-of-Pearl Inlay
Prayer Beads
The Signatures of Calligraphers

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Beautifully and richly illustrated, this introduction and handbook to the decorative art and crafts of the Ottoman civilization is based upon the many articles by Kusoglu, who is an artist, educator, and researcher in his own right. The 28 topics or chapters range from a description of artistic techniques, such as niello, engraving, embossing, filigree, and beading, to personal and everyday objects that utilize these methods, including door knockers, belts and rings, various talismans and body ornaments, prayer beads, and even Ottoman visiting cards. The colorful and intriguing illustrations provide outstanding examples of the various techniques and objects discussed. This work, which includes items and terminology that might be unfamiliar to Western artists, will make readers feel as though they have just gone through an exhibition of these magnificent artifacts.

VERDICT Enthusiasts of Eastern civilizations should not hesitate to purchase. This excellent book should also be found in both academic and public library collections for its educational value in learning more about Eastern traditional arts.

Stephen Allan Patrick,
Jonesborough, TN
Library Journal, Oct 2015

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Mehmet Zeki Kusoglu
Mehmet Zeki Kusoglu

He was born in Gaziantep, Turkey in 1943. He moved to Istanbul in 1949. He graduated from the state College of Applied Fine Arts, and received a state grant, with which he went to Germany for postgraduate studies in 1964. He was interested in Turkish, Islamic, and Eastern art while conducting research in the museum and libraries in Germany and other European countries. He was back to Turkey in 1969. He contacted the masters living in Turkey to develop his practical skills, in addition to expanding his theoretical knowledge. He was particularly interested in wood, stone, and metal arts. He held exhibitions, published articles, and books, and gave seminars, teaching his classical and modern interpretations of these arts. He made more than 100 presentations in national and international conferences. He held more than 70 exhibitions in Turkey and abroad, and participated in many group exhibitions. He has more than 14 books.