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Turkish calligraphers turn to paperworking

Today artistic paper cutting sees a revival as an art. Some time ago no artist would pay any attention to it, yet in recent years craftsmen picked up on paper, causing some new forms of art, such as quilling, and new methods and techniques for fine paper cutting, to emerge. In Turkey they call it kaaty.

Every artist looks for his or her unique creative path, and sometimes this is a life-long search. Irfan Isildar from Ankara has been on a quest to find his specialty for his entire life, yet he succeeded just three years ago. The 60-year-old artist is enthusiastic as the new style of calligraphy gains traction and wraps him in among the many – he cuts Quranic verses, Allah's names and other Muslim elements.

“I am no professional, which are plenty. For me it is no business, yet I flirted with an idea of selling my works. But I am not there yet”, he says. Having trained at some Arabic calligraphy courses, he started with developing an artwork using a computer to follow with paper cutting utilizing a sharp knife. The value of such a meticulous work is not to deny.

Another artist from Turkey, Feyza Sivaci Ercan, breaks new ground with her works and the absolute original style: the pattern in a bold framing embraces words and letters as if they were placed in air bubbles. Often she will colour the ornaments in gold, or less frequently in black, putting it onto a passe partout to impart volume and airiness to the whole picture.

Feyza has been participating in various local Islamic exhibitions.

This art style is only gaining momentum in Turkey. While some cut paper to create samails or Ramadan cards, the others employ it for desk or notepad decorations. True experts in this field are few, but considering that handmade crafting has turned mainstream in recent years, this new calligraphy direction will certainly fill a niche to become one more tool to preserve national and Islamic traditions.

Turkish calligraphers turn to paperworkingTurkish calligraphers turn to paperworking


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Calligraphy is the art of both ideal writing and an ideal soul.