Kaya Kalayci

The beautiful colour of the copper was like a burnished sunset, and there were so many pieces on the crowded stall that it was almost overwhelming as each was so perfectly crafted - some in contemporary styles, many more in traditional styles. All of them the superb work of copper craftsman, Kaya Kalayci

Turkey has had an abundance of handicrafts over the centuries, but whilst some continue to thrive, others have gone sharply into decline...copper being one of them. Kaya Kalayci is a copper craftsman – the fourth generation in his family. Kaya knows so much about working with copper and has all the skills needed for creating the most exquisite pieces. He has learnt this from his ancestors and is keen to pass on to his son and daughter to help keep copper work and its heritage alive.

Kaya stunning work is showcased in his atelier in Nişantaşı and also on his colourful stall in the famous covered bazaar nearby.

The first copper craftsman in the family was Master Artin who produced a wide range of useful copper utensils that were used in homes throughout the area. Sadly, within a few years, housewives began to discard their copper pans and utensils in favour of modern materials. The copper pieces ended up in bazaars so Kaya's grandfather (the second generation) - spent much of his time repairing and restoring old pieces rather than creating new ones.

Kaya's father was able to spend much of his time creating wonderful new pieces of copper work as a new market had emerged in international art lovers, and this market has continued and grown, ensuring that Kaya can use all the fine skills that he learnt as a young boy. His reputation is well known and he has been featured in Turkish TV documentaries, newspapers and glossy magazines. He is justly proud of the attention – not for himself, but for his craft and its rich heritage that he hopes will continue for many more generations...

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