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x0x EYE OF THE NIGHTINGALE

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  • Turkish Radio Hour
    x0x EYE OF THE NIGHTINGALE By Behzat Sahin Colour twist glassware made by introducing tinted glass rods into transparent glass was a technique which originated
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 9, 2002
      x0x EYE OF THE NIGHTINGALE

      By Behzat Sahin

      Colour twist glassware made by introducing tinted glass rods into
      transparent glass was a technique which originated in Venice in the
      first half of the 16th century, and was introduced to Turkey in the
      early 19th century by a Mevlevi dervish sent to study under Venetian
      glass craftsmen. It is thought that the Turkish name cesmibulbul, or
      eye of the nightingale, was inspired by the spiralling patterns in the
      eye of that bird. This ware continued to be made at glass shops in
      Beykoz until the last years of the 19th century, and commenced again
      in the second half of the 20th century. The manufacture of colour
      twist vases, plates, jugs and other ware is a complicated process
      requiring a high degree of skill. One of the Turkish glass makers who
      has helped to revive the traditional colour twist ware is Yusuf
      Gormus, who started work in 1944 at the Pasabahce Glass Factory, where
      his father was also a glass maker. This factory recommenced making
      colour twist glass in 1964, reproducing examples in museums and
      private collections.

      Dolomite, feldspar, soda, lime, sand and additives are combined and
      heated to a temperature of 1500-1600 degrees Centigrade, so that they
      fuse into molten glass. The hollow rod or puntil is then dipped into
      the glass in the crucible and twisted so that a lump, known as the
      paraison, sticks to the end. The glass maker blows gently into the
      puntil so that the paraison forms a balloon of hot glass, which is
      then placed inside a horizontal wooden mould and slowly turned until
      it forms a cylindrical shape. This is now placed in a metal mould,
      around the sides of which the desired number of coloured glass rods
      have been placed, and blows again until the hot glass sticks to the
      cold glass rods. It is now removed and revolved until the rods have
      heated up, at which point the paraison is again dipped into
      transparent molten glass, which forms a hot outer layer, so enclosing
      the rods in a double layer of glass.

      Now it is time to begin shaping the object by bringing together the
      lower ends of the rods into a bunch, which is done by slowly squeezing
      with special tongs, simultaneously twisting and pulling. This is a
      highly sensitive procedure, as the rods must be joined with exact
      symmetry, and a mistake at this stage can spoil the object completely.

      The piece must be re-heated before the final moulding. It is placed in
      the mould and then blown and twisted in one direction, so that the
      strands of colour form a spiral. The puntil is now removed, and the
      final stage of shaping the rim using various special tools begins. The
      rim is first heated to soften the glass once more. The vessel is then
      left to cool, and is ready to grace its new home with its elegant
      shape and beautiful swirling design.

      * Behzat Sahin is a journalist
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