What is tile art? History and construction phases

Tile art is a traditional Turkish handicraft. It is formed by molding the soil after cooking and producing goods. Tile art consists of motifs, shapes and colours. Interior and exterior architecture is also used to color and decorate the works with motifs.

What is tile art?

Tile Art is a branch of ceramic art and consists of pieces of clay covered with glazes of different colors to decorate the surface. Although tile art is known by different names in different cultures and regions, it produces ceramic works using essentially the same techniques.

Tile art has a history of thousands of years and the first examples date back to the 7th century BC. The tiles produced in many parts of the Middle East, Asia and Europe have been used for a variety of purposes, from common utilitarian objects to large panels depicting religious and mythological scenes.

While the main material used in tile art is clay, tile artists often use materials such as mud, limestone, feldspar, and quartz. The mixture of these materials is used in different proportions to achieve different hardnesses and colours. Tile works are usually handmade and the artist’s visual design and technical skill is very influential.

It is a handicraft often used in decorating objects made of baked earth. The decorations on objects such as plates, porcelain, ceramics and tiles are referred to as “tiling”. Today it is known as Çini, but in history it is called kasi and glaze. There are two types of tiles. These are wall tiles and evani tiles.

History of tile art

Tile Art

The history of tile art goes back many years. This handicraft was seen as an art of decoration in the buildings belonging to the Karakhanids period. It is clear that Turkish tile art has a history of more than a thousand years. Tile art was continued by the Great Seljuks and Anatolian Seljuks. During the Seljuk period, many mosques, meanders, palaces, tombs and caravanserais were decorated with tile art.

Dark blue, blue, mustard yellow, brown and black colors were generally used during this period. Seljuk period tiles are generally hexagonal, square and rectangular in shape. Usually mosaic shapes are used. In addition to mosaic forms, Kufic inscriptions and Rumi motifs took place. After the Seljuk period, many principalities performed this art. With the establishment of the Ottoman state, tile art experienced a different period and gained significance.

In the Ottoman period, various structures were decorated with motifs and colors, and tile art was kept alive. It has taken place throughout history as a traditional Turkish handicraft. In the 16th century, Iznik and Kütahya tiles developed and reached their peak as Turkish tile art. During this period, the tiles produced in Iznik became more colorful. The difference is added by using green, red, turquoise, dark blue and brown shades.

How is a tile made?

Tile Art

Making tiles is quite labor intensive and difficult. Tile art is a craft that requires patience and effort. Tile is obtained as a result of many stages. The most important thing in this branch of art is the person’s dexterity, patience and taste, because the prepared works reflect the person’s taste and imagination. Tile art is created by going through many stages.

Stages of tile art

Tile art is a culture rooted in world history. Precious Tile art has its own stages. Here are the details;

  • Natural materials such as chalk, sand and kaolin are mixed and processed into dough.
  • The dough is shaped and left to dry for a while.
  • The preparatory work is done on the dough that is dry.
  • The groundwork gives the dough a white appearance.
  • The pieces are baked in the oven for a day at a very high temperature.
  • The rough surface of the cooked pieces is smoothed using sandpaper and a smooth surface is obtained.
  • The surface is covered with a white paper drawn with charcoal and a background is created to perform other operations.
  • The pattern is pierced with a needle and transferred to the tile surface to be created using coal dust.
  • Patterns and contours are created using cobalt black paint suitable for tile art.
  • The interior floor is painted with colors suitable for taste or imagination.
  • The painted vitreous object is coated with a glaze and taken to the firing stage.
  • Care is taken to cook the pieces separately and subject them again to a second stage of cooking.
  • Cooked pieces are cooled slowly to prevent breakage.

Types of tile art

Tile Art

Tile art is traditionally known as the process of decorating ceramic materials with colored paint. Over the centuries, tile art has been created and developed using different techniques in different cultures. Today, there are many different types of tile art.

to blend

Mingi is a type of tile art made with blue or brown paint on white or light-colored porcelain. Originating during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Mingi was inspired by traditional Chinese painting.


Hua’i, unlike Mingi, uses darker colors and often more intricate designs. This type of tile art became popular during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).


Rang is a type of tile art made using a colored glass technique. This technique causes the glazing to crystallize during firing, resulting in a bright and vibrant surface. Rang has been performed since the Tang Dynasty (618-907).


Jianshui is a kind of tile art made with brown or red clay. This type of tile art is produced in Yunnan province and originated during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).


Jun is a kind of tile art produced during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). This type of tile art uses an orange, red, or purple glaze technique and is often produced with simple designs.


Dehua is a kind of tile art made on white porcelain. This type of tile art is produced in Fujian province and originated during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Dehua is known for making high quality porcelain.

What are the applications of tile art?

Tile Art

In addition to original works with aesthetic value, tile art also produces products for various areas of application. While many of these products are items used in everyday life, some are for artistic purposes.

One of the most common applications is home decoration. Tile tiles and mosaics are used to create a stylish and aesthetic look in bathrooms, kitchens and other living spaces. Wall panels, chandeliers, vases, trinkets, porcelain plates and other ornaments are also widely used in home decoration. In particular, tiles from the Ottoman period occupy a special place in home decoration.

Tile art was also used for decoration purposes in museums, palaces, mosques and other historical places. In particular, Iznik tiles were used to decorate various palaces, mosques and tombs during the Ottoman Empire. In addition, the tile art is also known to be used for the preservation and display of historical documents, as it provides a lot of information about Turkish culture and history.

It is also used in the food and beverage industry as an application area. Tile plates, glasses, jugs, trays and other crockery are used in restaurants, cafes and hotels, among others. While these products are preferred for an elegant and classy presentation, they are also safe for health.

What is the history of tile art?

Tile art has a long history dating back to 5500 BC. The first examples of tiles were seen in ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Mesopotamia. Later it became widespread in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

What materials are used in tile art?

The main material used for tile art is clay or mud. These raw materials are formed and cooked using special techniques. Glazes and paints of various colors are also used for painting.

What techniques are used in tile art?

Techniques used in tile art traditionally include methods such as needlework and hand painting. The techniques cover different stages such as shaping, painting, glazing and baking the clay.

Are there different styles of tile art?

Yes, there are different styles of tile art. For example, Iznik tiles were popular during the Ottoman Empire and often used the colors blue, orange and green. During the Ming dynasty in China, a style known as the Qinghua style was popular and used the colors white and blue.

In which countries is tile art popular?

Tile art is popular in many different countries of the world. In particular, it is traditionally produced and widely used in countries such as China, Iran, Turkey, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, England and Japan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *