Tue, Mar 16 | Online

Introduction to Tezhip

Tezhip is the Turkish word meaning “ornamenting with gold” and is used to represent the Ottoman tradition of beautifying calligraphy...
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Introduction to Tezhip

Time & Location

Mar 16, 7:00 PM

About the Course

Tezhip is the Turkish word meaning “ornamenting with gold” and is used to represent the Ottoman tradition of beautifying calligraphy. Renowned professor of Tezhip, Dr. Çiçek Derman, once said, “If the aim of the Hattat (calligrapher) is to write the Holy Qur’an in his best handwriting, the aim of the Tezhip artist is to illuminate it to express what is in their heart.” In the Introduction to Tezhip class, students will be exploring the basic techniques and materials used by Tezhip artists.

Fatma Ulusoy Hoca has been studying Tezhip with Tezhip master Ayşe Gülcan Özbalak since 2015. Her work has adorned the compositions of several master calligraphers and she has participated in multiple tezhip exhibitions.

Introduction to Tezhip

General Curriculum:

Week 1: Border patterns

Week 2: Circular border patterns

Week 3: Staining and preparing paper

Week 4: Munhani motifs – drawing and transferring

Week 5: Painting munhani

Week 6: Leaf motifs and brushstrokes

Week 7: Hatai motifs and brushstrokes

Week 8: Sazyolu motifs

Week 9: Transferring motifs and haklar painting technique

Week 10: Creating a halkar work

Week 11: Preparing gold

Week 12: Classic tezhip design

Week 13: Şemse (shem-se) motifs

Week 14: Gold shading and contouring

The motifs and skills will be introduced and practiced once; mastery will come later when one joins the Şah Kulu Tezhip Apprenticeship Program. All projects in the Introduction to Tezhip class must be completed before permission is given to join the Apprenticeship Program.

Şah Kulu Tezhip Apprenticeship Program:

Şah Kulu is the most well known muzehhip (master tezhip artist) in Ottoman history, and we honor his contributions to the art by naming our apprenticeship program after him. As a practitioner during the reign of Sultan Süleyman, he benefited from generous royal patronage, which helped tezhip and many other arts reach their peak. He was a master of many skills, and developed new styles and techniques in tezhip, ceramics, and book binding. One of the decorative styles that characterized the court arts which he and his student Kara Memi developed is called saz, an ancient Turkish word used to define an enchanted forest.

Apprenticeship is defined as "the method or process of gaining knowledge of a trade, art, or profession from the instruction of a master”. In this case, Tezhip is the trade, art, profession and devotional act, and the master is Fatma Hoca. Students who completed the Introduction class together will remain in their Group and will be given a name in honor of one of the great masters.  The students in each group travel together on this path, supporting and learning from one another, creating community and camaraderie, moving from semester to semester to master the skills according to their Hoca's instruction.  Apprenticeships will continue until “permission to teach” in the form of a certificate is given by the master to the apprentice.

Materials List: (click to see).  Materials can be bought from the Deen Arts Foundation store, specifically the Tezhip Essentials Set. There are two books considered textbooks for class Motifler and Desen, and two supplemental books Turkish Motifs and Rumi Motifs.

Classes will be conducted online using Zoom, and Whatsapp will be used for communication, sharing and homework.

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