The Origins of The Turkish Mosaic Lamp

Posted by Cengiz Arik on

Mosaic art has been around throughout most of recorded history; Hellenistic artists were the first to start using precise geometric patterns around 500 B.C.E. The first glass pieces’ date back to 200 B.C.E. and by the 5th century B.C.E., Byzantines started using glass tesserae made from thick sheets of colored glass in their artwork. After the defeat of the Byzantine’s by the Ottoman’s in 1453, the glass factories passed into the hands of the Turks and the craftsman of the Ottoman Empire started to innovate the craft and apply the art in ways never attempted before. Asia Minor has always been at the forefront of glass-blowing and the craftsmen in the workshops worked diligently to perfect the process by adding their own touches and flavors and establishing new ways to blow glass. During the golden age of glass-blowing in the 16th century, artists were shaping and coloring glass for a variety of uses in the Ottoman Empire and it was during this time that oil lamps with colored glass shades were first recorded in history. Soon, the two arts merged and by the 1800’s, the first mosaic lamp shades started appearing.

Modern day Turkish Mosaic Lamps are made using the same well-guarded classical methods practiced since their origin in the glass community. Artisans pick the highest quality glass ensuring that sheets are deep in color and the correct thickness. They create multifaceted and colorful designs integrating symbolic motifs from Ottoman roots. The handcrafted metal bases and filigrees incorporate designs unique to the Anatolians and are fashioned of brass, bronze, and copper and make each piece unique. Turkish Mosaic Lamps aren’t simply art; they are a part of a vibrant living history of the region. They harken back to the Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire, of galleons loaded with treasures blowing across the Mediterranean, from trading post to trading post, where artisans and craftsmen traded their wondrous goods from foreign lands.  Turkish Mosaic Lamps have a deep and rich providence in design and craftsmanship which has evolved into a piece of worldly décor creating wonderful ambient light as they add beautiful colors and coziness to any room.

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