Although it changed in accordance with the prevailing conditions in different periods, decorative stone-working in Turkish art always maintained its high quality.
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 period.
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.
• Examples of Stone-Working