The aim of this study is to discuss the connection and interaction between
traditional Turkish glassmaking and contemporary glass art and education. This
study, in tandem with my own work, will be put into practice.
Contemporary glass art education derived from the American Studio Glass Art
Movement which began in the 1960's, taking form in a university environment
and going on to develop in institutions of higher education. It spread quickly
throughout America and abroad. There are a number of points which should be
considered, for instance, Turkish art schools have not been affected by the
spread of this rapid and influential movement; there was a twenty year gap
before its influence was finally seen in Turkey. On closer examination the
prevailing factors seem to be cultural and economic. Neither of these factors
individually provide the answer, however collectively they form a far clearer
picture. At the same time, it is necessary to find where the educational direction
of Turkish glass art lies in relation to historical, cultural, economical, political and
aesthetic concepts. It is important to analyse these concepts in order to reveal
the connections between them.
This thesis is based on anthropological and geographical fieldwork, undertaken
in order to create a picture of traditional and contemporary glassmaking.
Information has been gathered from interviews done in U.K., Turkey, U. S. A.
and data has been researched from museums, galleries, art schools, historical
and archaeological references and individuals. Many points are illustrated by
This thesis includes four parts. Part one is an introduction to glass, its structure
and its development. Part two describes the many aspects of glassmaking in
Turkey, from traditional to contemporary. Part three discusses the development
of studio glass art specifically in U. S. A. Part four interprets the connection
between the cultural values of Turkish glassmaking and studio glass. This
concept is demonstrated in an exhibition of contemporary glasswork designed
and made by the author mounted in Edinburgh College of Art in June 2000.