Copper Working

Copper was first discovered in Çayönü, Anatolia 10 thousand years ago and used for making diverse instruments and weapons; furthermore the annealing technique which consists of heating the metal in order to facilitate the shaping process has also firstly started to be used in the same region. Islamic art of metal has significantly improved with the Seljuk Empire, and many pot making and embroidery techniques were applied as it was with every different kind of Seljuk art field. With the foundation of the Ottoman Empire, the exploitation of mineral deposits has gained a significant pace in Anatolia and in the Balkans which carried this field of work to its utmost level. These mineral deposits were continuously exploited in order to meet the needs of the mint, the war industry, and the social life. Copper works used during the Ottoman era are the products of an extraordinary craftsmanship. The technique of covering copper and copper compounds with a mixture of gold and mercury is called tombaklama. The art of tombak has been used as a substitute of gold since the Seljuk Empire and reached its peak during the Ottoman era.

The tin is used as a cover in order to protect metal objects from corrosion. Metal pots that weren’t covered with tin quickly oxidized and poisoned which is why it had been a widely used technique when copper was widely used as kitchen equipment.

The main characteristic of the Ottoman era metal works was diversity shaped by the influence of different cultures in a large geography which is reflected in the varieties, shapes, embroideries, materials and techniques of the pots.