Turkish artist offers new way of doing tilework during COVID-19 pandemic

ISTANBUL (Xinhua) – A Turkish tile and ceramic artist, Ozlem Varol has been offering a new way of doing hand-painted tilework amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we have been forced to stay at home due to the pandemic, we developed the idea of shipping a piece of raw ceramic to those who want to make some painting,” Varol told Xinhua recently at her atelier in the Besiktas district in Istanbul. As soon as she announced her intention from her social media account, Varol started to receive thousands of orders each day from people all around the country.

“We have been continuously preparing small boxes, which include a piece of ceramic, such as a vase, tray, or a kettle, all with my designs on, several bottles of colours, and a brush,” she said while drawing some Spanish home figures over a vase. The prices of the kits vary between USD7 and USD400.

After colouring their items, people send the pieces back for the glazing and curing processes to take place at the atelier. And, when Varol gets the final product from the oven, she shipped them to her customers’ addresses once again.

“So the entire process includes three shipments in total. We have no contact, no social interaction, all in line with the measures taken against coronavirus,” Varol added. Speaking of the reasons behind the high interest, Varol said all people needed an activity to keep their mind busy and get relaxed, free from all kinds of concerns.

“The painting and the art of tile, in general, is precisely offering what people need,” she said, noting that it presents a therapy-like activity, taking people’s stress away.

“Some of my clients shared their photos, showing the entire family painting a tile piece at home around a table and having fun,” Varol said.

Turkish tile and ceramic artist Ozlem Varol shows a piece of hand-painted tilework in a studio in Turkey. PHOTO: XINHUA