Traditional Arts Using Stone
Although it changed in accordance with the prevailing conditions in different
periods, decorative stone-working in Turkish art always maintained its high
The best examples of stone-working can be seen in the architecture of the
Seljuk and Ottoman periods. Stone is the main component not only of construction
but also for internal and external decoration.
The best examples of stone working can be seen in monumental doors, in the
walls of cities and palaces, the main doors and courtyards of mosques and
medreses, and in column heads, minarets and fountains.
The most common ornamentation used are geometric patterns, plant motifs,
animal relieves and palmets.
Walls may also decorated by the use of bricks. Dark and light-colored bricks
are used to create geometric designs in order to embellish walls. The external
walls of mosques, tombs and castles are the best examples of this.
Stone used in the art of stone-working can be classified according to the
differing construction techniques:
Stone-working (In Architecture, Fountains and Gravestones):
In traditional architecture, stone-working plays an important role in the
construction and decoration of internal and external walls. Another common use
is for gravestones.
Various techniques are used in stone-working, such as carving, relief and
scraping. Ornamental elements are generally plants, geometric designs and
writing. Animal figures are rarely seen and human figures only in the Seljuk
Marble is metamorphosed limestone, which is brightly colored and used in
different fields of art.
A slab of marble is separated from the main block with the help of a helical
strand, and is then cut into pieces with a piercing gimlet. Marble slabs are cut
with the help of a diamond-bladed, following the grain. Slabs are softened with
sponge stone and emery dust and varnished with fabric tampons.
A number of common products in daily use are made from stone, such as
jewellery, chaplets, cigarette holders and walking stick handles.
In Eskişehir today, cigarette holders, pipes and water pipes are made from
sepiolite. It is known that in the early years other objects were also made from
it, such as pots, boxes, cups and statues.
Oltu stone is a kind of lignite which is generally black and shiny. It can be
polished and planed. In the middle ages, it was used to make hat badges, boxes
and small statues. It began to be used for jewellery in the 19th century.
Today, oltu stone is obtained from the 300 mines in the village of Oltu in
the province of Erzurum. It is also known as “Erzurum amber,” and is used in
making cigarette boxes, hat badges and jewellery (such as necklaces, brooches,
earrings and rings) and is combined with gold and silver.