Iznik: Turkish Tiles and Ceramics

Iznik: Turkish Tiles and Ceramics

Catrin Morris
Jul 14, 2011

You are probably familiar with bone china or Delft but have you heard of Iznik ceramics from Turkey? They are exquisite but quite hard to come by. Iznik ceramics and tiles are characterized by their elaborate, intricate designs and shades of blue, turquoise, red and green.

Iznik tiles are an original way to bring vibrant color and character to any space. If you can't afford to buy enough Iznik tiles for a backsplash, for example, consider displaying a single bowl or vase as table decor or hanging a tile panel or dramatic plate on the wall as art. Because, after all, these Turkish wonders are just that — art.

Islam forbids the portrayal of living creatures, so most İznik designs are floral or geometric: The tulip represents God and the rose represents the Prophet Muhammad. The name comes from a small Turkish town that was the center of a flourishing ceramics industry during the Ottoman Empire (five hundred years ago). Hundreds of İznik artisans were employed to make quartz tiles and ceramic ware for the powerful Sultan.

Every year for his birthday, my husband says all he wants is Turkish ceramics known as Iznik. And every year I fail. This year will be different. The Ann Sacks tiles in Image 2 are stunning but pricey. And Yurdan is a treasure trove of Iznik ceramics. Do you know of any other good sources for Iznik wares? Please share!

From left to right:
• Iznik plates and bowl from Yurdan, a great source for Iznik ceramics and all kids of Turkish wares.
• A sampling of stunning (but pricey) Iznik tiles from Ann Sacks.
• Vase by Eloge Del Art.
• Hand painted tile by Pottery Hand Painted.

Source: Global blue.

Images: As linked above.

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