Mon, Jan 03 | Zoom

Introduction to Tezhip

In this class, students will learn the basic techniques of Tezhip, the Ottoman tradition of beautifying calligraphy with gold, and explore the materials used by Tezhip artist, Fatma Ulusoy Hoca.
Registration is Closed
Introduction to Tezhip

Time & Location

Jan 03, 2022, 8:00 PM UTC

About the Course


Date Range: January 3 - March 21, 2022

Times: 8 PM UTC | 2 PM CDT | Course Format: Online


Tezhip is the Turkish word meaning "ornamenting with gold" and represents 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 Tezhip artist aims 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 Fatma Ulusoy.

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.


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 halkar painting technique
  • Week 10: Creating a halkar work
  • Week 11: Preparing gold
  • Week 12: Classic tezhip design
  • Week 13: Shamsa 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 to join the 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 bookbinding. One of the decorative styles that characterized the court arts, which he and his student Kara Memi developed, is 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 be given a name in honor of one great master. 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.

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


Students can buy their supplies from the Islamic Art Supplies (click to view) store.

Due to limited seating, we request that you cancel by December 18, 2021, to receive a full refund.

Your Order
  • Early Registration
    +$3.25 Service fee
    +$3.25 Service fee

Share This Course