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    The Beauty Of Iznik Çini 
               ….. Only From Pods & Petals Giftlab


As part of the celebration of Ramadhan and Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Pods & Petals Giftlab is offering a selection of Iznik Çini plates direct from Turkey. These plates have a long and colorful history in the world of fine arts, pottery and ceramics.

Iznic Cini means Iznik china, a type of ceramic that is distinctively Turkish. The name was inspired from the Ottoman Empire’s exposure to Chinese porcelain but the art of Iznik Çini belongs to the people of Iznik, the town where it was first developed.

For the Sultans of the Ottoman court, the Chinese porcelains were admired and highly prized. However, their desire to have these ceramics created locally failed. Due to the geologic make-up of Turkey, the components required to make Chinese porcelain simply could not be found. This failure ultimately became a blessing in disguise.

Instead of recreating Chinese porcelain, the master potters of Iznik came up with their own formula that approximated the look and feel of porcelain. This adaptation, through the use of available local materials like silica, quartz, kaolin and chalk as well as new firing techniques, resulted in the Iznik Çini. This major breakthrough is further accentuated by the use of a pure white, quartz-based underglaze that gave Iznik Çini its other name – white ceramic. It is this white underglaze that heightens the colors in the beautiful designs even more.

Due to the success of this development, Iznik Çini was used extensively by the Ottoman rulers. The walls of palaces and mosques were adorned with Iznik Çini tiles. The Topkapı palace and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Instanbul are two such buildings that still have the original tiles. Wares such as vases and ornaments including ships, flowers, animals and trees were made to decorate rooms. While some plates were made only for show, archeologists have also found plates that were scratched from use.

For more than three centuries, Iznik Çini became one of the hallmarks of innovation and artistic expression in the Ottoman Empire. But by the 17th century, the Ottoman Empire was in decline. Since the primary consumers of Iznik Çini were the Sultans, this eventually led to a fall in demand of tiles and wares. By the mid-17th century, 20 kilns remained. Since the knowledge of Iznik Çini was handed over to the apprentices and was never written down by the master potters, the reduction in the number of pottery workshops resulted in the loss of the art.

Then in 1989, the year of the Iznik was declared. A symposium and an international exhibition were organized. Two books about Iznik Çini were written. This awareness of the lost art of Turkish ceramics created enough momentum that by 1993, the Iznik Foundation was formed. Its mission is to revive the art of Iznik Çini. Through archeological digs and mineral composition research, the foundation has found the process that created Iznik Çini.

Today, Iznik Çini tiles and wares are being produced mainly in the town of Kütahya. The revival resulted not only in the creation of historical replicas but also new designs based on the idea behind Iznik Cini. Pods and Petals Giftlab has amassed a collection of replicas of 17th century Iznik Çini plates. These plates are beautiful, vivid pieces of art that can be bought alone or as part of our Ramadhan and Hari Raya gift baskets. These pieces come with certificates of authenticity from the Turkish Embassy.

For more information, call our Customer Service at +603-7883 0233.

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