Here is the bathing lady, after I applied the stain yesterday. I hope her towel will be blue. Inshalla. Since this photo I've off-brushed the excess stain, scooped out the excess clay from the backs of the tiles, and set them out to dry.
I really like this dancing couple. André, this one's for you! I applied the stain to it today, and will brush & scoop it tomorrow, as well as line up another 2 panels to begin sculpting. I'm thinking of a lady lounging in the hamam (Turkish bath).
This photo shows what the tiles look like with the backs scooped out. It takes a while to complete this for each panel, and is one of those jobs that is sort of mindless, but requires concentration nonetheless. Patience is required, and care to make the tiles of even thickness for even drying. After they're scooped out, it only takes about 3 days for them to dry, as opposed to more then a week at home.
The bulk of my afternoon was occupied with the less-than-exciting task of sanding the rough spots off the backs and sides of each dry tile (about 100 of them) and setting them aside to fire. Probably we will fire all the work at once, perhaps over 2 or 3 days, in about 2 weeks. That will leave me enough time to get the panels constructed on their backing pieces and ready for the exhibition by October 1st.
Work continues well into the night here, and the studio is more like a living room than a workplace. There is always music (sometimes live, when a saz-playing friend drops by), animated conversation, and endless glasses of strong Turkish tea. The TV is on if there is interesting news or a good 'futbol' game. & many computerless friends come by to use the internet.
Life moves at a different pace here. The work day is long, but there seems to be a lot of time for visiting as well. You don't walk by someone's home or business without saying hello if the door is open (which it always is here at the studio). & if someone walks by your door & says hello, you always offer them tea. The studio is a little off the beaten track, so people who come by here usually intend to visit. Work continues regardless, amid the conversation & tea. The odd tourist stops by, and some of them buy Erdogan's smaller pieces. Everyone is welcome, from the neighbourhood kids who come to ask 'uncle Erdogan' for bits of clay to model, to the other artists and tradesmen working nearby, and the wives, mothers, and grandmothers who stop by from time to time to use the phone, get some little job done, or bring goodies of some sort.
There is a very good energy here, in the place and in the people; and I am really enjoying my time here, in spite of how hard I'm working!
All for today.