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The Production Process

The prolific craftsmen of Gaziantep usually work with walnut, from which they succeed in producing many spectacular items.  The pattern is first drawn on the wood.  Grooves for the wires are then scored along the lines of the drawing.  Aluminium, brass or silver wires are hammered into the grooves and secured with glue.  Indentations for the mother-of pearl are then chiselled out.

The next step is to prepare the mother-of-Pearl which looks like oyster and cockle sheels and fix it in place.  The cut and sanded slivers of mother-of-pearl are placed in the indentations.  They are later glued and left to dry for the rest of the day.   When dry, the item is sanded smooth, and if desired the wood blackened by burning.  Finally, the item is rubbed with pure olive oil; and when the oil has been thoroughly absorbed, shellac is applied to give a shiny and clean finish.

The patterns are created with geometric motifs in unending sequence.  By making the geometric shapes curl or branch; creating main or subsidiary connections between them or having them cut one another or make knots; natural motifs such as tulips, carnations and roses, and sometimes animal figures are depicted.

The contents of this publication, which has been funded through the 2010 Economic Development Financial Support Programme of the Silk Road Development Agency, does not represent the views of the Silk Road Development Agency and/or the Ministry of Development. The Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce is the sole bearer of responsibility for the contents.