History and decorative characteristics of Turkish ceramics

The Byzantine and especially the Seljuk tradition served as a breeding ground for pottery in the 13th century. The Seljuks left behind a rich legacy in the form of unique tiles made during the heyday of the empire. The style of this period is called “rum”. Originally, the Rumi style originated in Rome, in Byzantine pottery painting techniques, adopted by the Seljuks who called themselves Rumi (Roman Seljuks). This style is characterized by lush, stylized shapes of leaves and buds.


The conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453 and its transformation into the capital of the Ottoman state – Istanbul, the growth of cities, the development of architecture increased the need for such an ideal building material as ceramics. There was a need to create a larger production center. Rich deposits of high-quality white clay have contributed to the prominence of the town of Iznik (Nicaea), located a few tens of kilometers from the capital.

The variety of shapes of the forms of early ceramics Iznik corresponded to their technical design and decoration. The objects are made of light clay. The painting is done in cobalt blue on a white background, under a transparent glaze. We used 2 shades of cobalt: light – for the main image and dark – for the outline. During this period, the technique of “reserve” painting became widespread, when the background was covered with paint, and the parts that were not touched by the color formed a pattern.

Iznik products from the early period were characterized by painting, magnificent art and elegance. The ornament was a very finely executed floral motif, among which the main place was occupied by flowers with rounded petals, curly stems with small leaves and curls, as well as traditional arabesques (stylized image of leaves or semi-leaves). At the moment, the lotus flower, called “khatai” in Turkish, predominates among the plant motifs. Both the lotus motif and Chinese clouds (a stylized loop-shaped figure) were an integral part of the decor at the time. The appearance of these decorative details is explained by the influence of imported Far Eastern goods, especially porcelain from the Ming period (1368-1664). Thus, the Turkish term cini (tile) reflects the influence of Chinese culture. In other words, the Turkish word means making or reproducing Chinese pottery.


Chintamani is a typical Central Asian motif, consisting of 3 circles, which not only played a role in Buddhism, but also represented the arrangement of stars and the moon, according to which the Ottoman court celebrated Novruz (spring holiday and beginning of the new year).

Highly artistic porcelain served the masters of Iznik as a model. But, borrowing these or those schemes, the potters of Iznik were far from a blind imitation. They interpreted them in their own way and presented their motives. In the 16th century, the transition to a new decorative solution was planned. I still apply blue flowers to round petals, lotuses, leaves on twisted stems, Iznik masters begin to decorate their products with a distinctive pattern of thin blue or dark green stems with small leaves, flowers in the shape of stars and curls, placed on the surface of pots in regular spirals. Gradually, the image began to include turquoise, then olive green, brown, purple and black for the outlines of the drawings.

The Best Photo Transfer Techniques

With photos, there are practically no limits to your creativity, because there is a method for photo transfer for almost every surface and with beautiful motifs, all kinds of objects can be individualized quickly. These can be vacation memories on a piece of driftwood or tiles, a great gift idea for the wedding. You can embellish everything you can imagine from fabric to glass. Today we will give you an overview of the best photo transfer techniques and their applications.

1. Photo transfer potch

Suitable for: all surfaces, the rougher, the softer

Advantage: works on almost all surfaces

Disadvantage: it takes a little longer and you have to work carefully. The print can crack on smooth surfaces

Original: laser printing, reversed

How does it work?

The motif must be laser printed and glued to the surface. After drying, the paper is rubbed off and the photo layer remains.

2. Lavender print

Suitable for: fabric, wood, cork

Advantage:  possible in large format

Disadvantage: smell

Original: laser printing, reversed

How does it work? 

Place your template on your object to be printed and rub it with lavender oil.

3. Decal film

Suitable for: smooth surfaces such as glass, plastic, and porcelain 

Advantage: Can be made large format, depending on the film and the printer

Disadvantage: drying time, since clear varnish is used

Template: print directly on decal film, laser or inkjet

How does it work?

The motif is printed on the film, sprayed with clear varnish, and dissolved in a water bath. 

4. Photo transfer with tape

Suitable for: all smooth surfaces

Advantage: you have everything at home

Disadvantage: small format

Template: laser printing

How does it work? 

The motif is stuck on the tape, placed in a water bath and rubbed off. 

5. Photo transfer with inkjet printer

Suitable for: wood

Advantage: you have everything at home

Disadvantage: small format

Original: no original, direct printing with inkjet

How does it work?

Prints your motif on a cut transparent film. Put it on the material you want the photo on and compress on it.

6. Cyanotype

Suitable for: wood, fabric, paper

Advantage: special, very nice look

Disadvantage: you have to work with gloves because salts used are harmful and complicated

Original: printed on foil, negative

How does it work?

The model is printed on film in black and white. Then chemicals are applied to the surface, the film is placed and exposed to sunlight. This creates a blue print.

7. Tattoo film

Suitable for: skin, smooth surfaces

Advantage: easy handling

Disadvantage: expensive

Original: mirrored, inkjet printer

How does it work?

The pattern is printed on a transfer film. Conveyed to a backing paper and then applied to your object with water.

8. Adhesive film

Suitable for: smooth, flat surfaces

Advantage: easy handling

Disadvantage: only works on flat surfaces, the edge is visible

Template: direct printing

How does it work? 

Simply print on adhesive film, stick on and you’re done!

How to transfer images with Transfer Marker

Transfer Marker can transfer images to almost any surface you can think of in just a few seconds,


1. Prepare the marker

Before working with the Transfer Marker, you should prepare it first.

Shake the marker well and press on a paper a couple of times until you see the wet tip.

2. Prepare the surface for transfer

Regarding surfaces, we recommend using the Transfer Marker to transfer images to porous surfaces such as paper, cardboard, cork, clay, cloth, and wood.

Do not start before being sure the surface is clean and dry to guarantee well adhesion and acquire a better result.

3. Prepare the drawing to transfer

Once you have a clean surface and the prepared marker, prepare the image that you are going to transfer. Notice that:  The image must be printed with a laser printer, traditional printer images do not work. Besides, to adjust the image, print it inside first, to prevent its moving when pasting it.

4. Transfer images to any surface

With everything ready, you will only have to transfer your images! Set your desirable picture on the surface to be transferred. When it exactly fits its position, pass the marker over it.


Colors, like music, are an excellent way of expressing emotions. As humans are infinitely complex, no one color truly captures how we feel at all times. For kids, working with colors may be a common fun thing to do, but can you make the experience much more memorable for your kids? Yes, you can, and tie dye is here to the rescue!

It’s incredible how you can make colored patterns appear on clothes just by tying a few strings or rubber bands here and there and dipping the bundle in a bucket of dye. When the spectacular patterns emerge, nobody is concerned about the dye mess that needs cleaning! Watch as your kids become transfixed on the resultant beauty spread before their eyes – their very own tie dye shirts!

Things Needed

For best results you’ll need:

· White T-shirts (new or prewashed) preferably 100% cotton

· 3-gallon bucket

· Glass jar with lid

· Measuring spoon

· Rubber bands (2-8 per shirt)

· Plastic/Rubber Gloves

· Fiber-reactive dye

· Soda ash fixture (if you buy a dye kit, options 5-8 are provided there)

· Old clothes

· Ziploc bag

Things to Note

· Loosen up. It’s time to unwind!

· Keep perfectionism at bay

· Break tasks into smaller chunks

· Forget the mess; go with the “flow”

· The dyes will wash off the skin

· Don’t forget to have fun!

Let The Fun Begin – How To Tie Dye

1. Getting ready

Put on some old clothes for everyone and wear an apron over it. Cover the work surface and wash brand new shirts to remove the newness (newness prevents proper sticking of dyes). Get the camera ready as these are moments you’ll love to capture.

2. Preparing the Shirts

Soak the prewashed shirts into a bucket filled with water. Let the kids hold the hose, they enjoy getting wet – it’s a lot of fun for them. Thoroughly wring out the shirt and flatten them on the work table. It’s easier to work with wet clothes.

3. Choose tie dye patterns

Different tie dye patterns give different tie dye designs. Popular patterns are the spiral, crumple, or bullseye patterns. You can “invent” new tie dye patterns with your kids. Sometimes, you can get the best designs by going with your gut.

4. Prepare the Shirt & Dyes

Wear the gloves and prepare a mixture of soda ash and water as instructed on the bottle. Do your kids the pleasure of letting them dunk and stir the clothes. Let your kids shake the bottles the dye bottle as it gives them joy for some weird reasons.

5. Dye

Now is the time to dye. You might want to engage the little kids in other things and let the bigger kids do this. This exclusion is because, for some unknown reasons, little kids always have a different plan – some funny thought patterns in their minds. They may want to try the dye on their clothes or in their gut!

Back to business – Squirt the dye onto the shirts as you wish. Or soak the clothes in the prepared dye in the bucket. When you’re done, put the clothes in the zip lock bag and seal the bag. Let the bag sit for at least 24 hours.

6. Rinse

Rinse the clothes the next day (after the 24 hours have elapsed). Let the kids pick the shirts they want and rinse them under warm water until the water runs clear. Hang the clothes to dry.

7. Wash

Wash the clothes with detergent and cold/warm water to get rid of the remaining dye. Toss the clothes in a dryer or hang them up to dry.

Now it’s time to wear the shirts. Let the kids pick their favorites and pose for the photoshoot! Don’t miss a moment to tell others that your kids made those clothes. Preach it!

Russian constructivism

Constructivism – The Soviet avant-garde method (direction, style) in the visual arts, architecture, photography and applied arts, developed between the early 1920s and the early 1930s. As V.V Mayakovsky wrote in his essay on the French painting: “For the first time not from France but from Russia, a new word for art – constructivism …” appeared.

In the constant search for new forms, implying the forgetting of all the “old”, the innovators declared the rejection of “larpurlartism.” Since then, art has been required to serve production. Most of those who subsequently joined the Constructivists were ideologues of the so-called. “industrial arts”. They urged artists to “consciously create useful things” and dreamed of a new man of harmonious existence, who enjoys useful things and lives in a well-tended city.

Constructivism is a direction that, above all, connects with architecture. However, this vision is one-sided and even very wrong, because before it became an architectural method, constructivism existed in design, print, and artistic creation in general. Colors were stable: black, red, white, gray with the addition of blue and yellow. In fashion, there are also certain constructs – tendencies – in light of the global trend of drawing straight lines in clothing design, Soviet designers devised a geometricized form during those years. Among the designers stand out Varvara Stepanova, who in 1924, together with Ljubov Popov, developed a design of fabrics for the first factory of printed cotton in Moscow. Stepanova was a professor of textiles at the Faculty of Arts and designed sports and casual wardrobe models.

The names of Alexander Rodchenko, El Lisicki, Vladimir Tatlin and Varvara Stepanova are associated with the production arts. In the early years of Soviet rule, the main areas of mass adoption in emerging design were: the formulation of revolutionary festivals, poster, advertising, book production, exhibition design, theater, etc. The artists sought to create a new image of the urban environment and to separate it from the older, “bourgeois” construction of the city.

All the work of representatives of the Russian avant-garde, both artists and architects, are of great value to Russian cultural heritage. Each representative of that style of art developed his unique approach, created a novelty in the cultural world and introduced a series of works that fit his own artistic world, and are now considered masterpieces not only of Russian but of world art and architecture.

The specifics of the Russian avant-garde are both its development and decline, which are closely related to the historical events in the country, as well as its rebellious character and (self) proclamation of representatives of the avant-garde as activists in the fight against cultural heritage. In addition, the phenomenon of the Russian avant-garde lies in the fact that the concept of the “Russian avant-garde” is typical not only of painting, but of the art of almost the entire culture of that time: literature, music, theater, photography, film, design, architecture.

Lyubov Popova

Vladimir Tatlin

Эль Лисицкий. Без названия. 1924-25