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x0x Pebble mosaic pavements - Carpets of stone

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  • Turkish Radio San Francisco
    x0x Pebble mosaic pavements - Carpets of stone One square meter of pebble mosaic comes from two thousand six hundred and fifty individually placed upright
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 19, 2001
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      x0x Pebble mosaic pavements - Carpets of stone

      One square meter of pebble mosaic comes from two thousand six
      hundred and fifty individually placed upright pebbles. A single
      trained person can make about one quarter of a square meter of pebble
      mosaic per day

      Today's pebble mosaics form a part of an anatolian tradition
      which date back through the centuries to the prehistoric period of
      cave dwellers

      T.M.P. Duggan

      Antalya - Turkish Daily News

      From 5000 B.C. onwards the art and craft of decorative pebble flooring
      has been practiced in Southern Anatolia. On floors exposed by
      excavation at Cayonu in examples dated to the prehistoric period,
      through to the traditional Southern Anatolian architecture with its
      pebble paved courtyards of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries it is
      apparent. Pebble mosaic differs from the more famous Roman or
      Byzantine mosaics because the pebbles are inserted vertically into a
      mortar bed rather than being composed of cubes of stone or glass
      (tesserae) forming a flat even surface.

      The mortar bed for a pebble mosaic during the Ottoman period was
      composed of sand, lime, earth and egg whites, which when combined in
      the correct proportions formed a type of Horasan mortar, waterproof
      and stronger than concrete. Many of the traditional houses in Kale
      Ici, Antalya dating from the 18th and 19th centuries have courtyards
      paved with a pebble mosaic which served more than just a purely
      decorative function. The traditional pebble mosaic provided, with the
      gaps between the individual pebbles, a place where water cast over the
      stones could lay and this water provided an effective air conditioning
      unit where the water cooled the air which circulated through the house
      in the summer. The traditional house, built around a courtyard, was
      designed, in its distribution of rooms and their ventilation, to
      maximize the cool air flows from the courtyard and its wet or damp
      mosaic. The water cast over the mosaic also brought out the bright
      colours and patterns employed by the families of craftsmen who
      practiced this art-craft of pebble flooring.

      New pebble mosaic pavements

      Today a team from Matusan, based in Makca,
      Istanbul are continuing this 7000 year old Anatolian tradition of
      pebble flooring. Mehmet Isikli from Antalya spoke of the team's work
      and their latest completed projects. He thinks compares the team from
      Matusan who create these mosaics to an orchestra, the conductor being
      the architect Sinan Sensoy, the soloist being Mehmet, the violinists
      Muharrem Tufan and Mustafa Verim and the oboist Yasar Guler while the
      "pebble mosaic orchestra's" computer is run by Yesim Hanim.

      Once the project to fill a certain specified area with pebble mosaic,
      using traditional designs, has been approved by the client, the
      "sablons" or templates are cut. The pebbles are brought from storage
      and the work of laying the sand and cement floor in which the pebbles
      are set begins. It is important that the bed is flat and the area has
      to measured and clearly defined to provide regularity and balance to
      the finished design. The computer is useful in the presentation to the
      client, in calculating the areas and quantities of pebbles involved
      and in mapping the area covered by each individual design in relation
      to walls, flower beds, staircases and other designs.

      The depth of the foundations of the bed in which the pebbles are set
      is eight centimeters and one single square meter of pebble mosaic is
      made from 2650 individually laid pebbles. On average a single trained
      person is able to complete about 0.25 of a square meter of mosaic,
      placing 660 pebbles in position, in a day of backbreaking care and
      attention, particularly where one color of pebble meets another in the
      design. However, the pebble pavement is the work of many hands and
      eyes working as a single body like an orchestra. The templates used
      are designed as reusable tools and the elements of each individual
      design are defined by these templates. Complex designs are broken into
      their constituent elements and with axial symmetry, where a design
      repeats itself segment by segment, each segment being completed before
      the next is begun. The background colored pebbles, usually white, are
      laid first then the colored ones. An average pebble mosaic employs 50
      percent white, 30 percent black, 8 percent brown, 7 percent beige, 3
      percent green and 2 percent yellow pebbles.

      Each pebble is placed on its end with one third of the pebble inserted
      into the bed of mortar, two thirds above. This gives the texture to
      the mosaic as the light and shadows play over the surface. A well laid
      pebble mosaic can last 1000 years and longer and costs today,
      dependant on the intricacy of the designs, between $200 and $600 per
      square meter. The pebbles are obtained from rock strata near Demre in
      Antalya and are selected and graded according to their shape, size and

      These modern professionals of the craft of pebble mosaic use the same
      number or even more pebbles than are to be seen on traditional pebble
      mosaic pavements. With a repertoire of varied appropriate and
      traditional designs and with a demand for their work mainly in
      Istanbul as well s sites of cultural importance, this traditional
      craft, which has survived all the upheavals, invasions and troubles of
      Anatolia's long history to the present. It will be maintained and
      develop as a skill producing works of beauty into the 21st century.

      Copyright 2001, Turkish Daily News. This article is redistributed with
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      may be reproduced, further distributed or archived without the prior
      permission of the publisher. Contact: Turkish Daily News Online on the
      Internet World Wide Web. www.turkishdailynews.com

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