Atilla Y anık is one of d1e most impoıtant masters of d1e Grand Bazaar. I had never seen him walking slowly. He is short and doesn’t have a minute to waste as he walks wid1 quick steps wifu his curly hair and moustache. He was bom in Balat in 1950. His fad1er, Alaattin Yanık was also a coppersmid1. “The entire Çadırcılar Street was full of coppersmid1s and junk collectors in fuose years. There were various kinds of copper works until 88-90′s in Çadırcılar. Wifu the people coming from Romania and Russia the business staıted to change more into textile. I left iliere in 1989. My fad1er was there since 1950. He first started fue business by making basins. Then, he made boilers and copper vessels. Later, he staıted to repair old copper objects, followed by producing new ones. I have been doing fuis job since 1957. I came to Cebeci Inn in 1989.” “I was repairing old Ottoman and Byzantium items and bringing fuem back to life. My interest was mostly on tuming old bowls and crockeıy into new ones, namely restoration” Atilla Yanık repaired many tl1ings in his lifetirne. Who knows, how many of tl1ose copper and brass objects, which perhaps hid many dreams, sadnesses or secrets in tl1em, he brought back to life. “A mortar, a canclleholder, an old Ottoman barbecue, a censer, a bowl, clogs used in wars, swords, shields and many more … ” “For d1e fırst time, I combined copper wifu ceramic in 1997.
It could be used as a vase or an ewer. Even tl1ough fuese half copper, half ceramic items had existed in the past, they were forgotten in time. Many friends of mine produced similar items after me. I stili go to the museums and examine. I even do researches in the old books. If I !ike a design, I first try to imagine it in my mind. I cannot sleep until I can hold it in my hands.” “My true master is my father and then Iate Gündağ Kayoglu. He was very famous. He wrote many books on copper” “My customers used to be mostly foreigners, Germans, Britishs, Americans with a few Italians and Frenchs. Locals weren’t interested in copper. They can’t find the old products now. Now the locals want to buy tombacs. New tombac is much affordable.” Master Atilla is making only tombacs nowadays. Tombac is basically the process of covering copper with gold after many processes. “In the past people mixed mercury with copper. It is said that the people who use mercury live shorter. I don’t use mercury in manufacturing. Instead, I use different formulas for the copper to protect my health.” “Before, people were mixing mercury with gold and rub- bing it againts the copper to let it absorb them. Of course, first, the copper was polished and cleaned by hand, and then, got plated with gold with the help of mercury.” “I, however, am polishing copper by ı.ısing engine power, instead of hand. I get gold powder. I buy already made formulas for copper.
I mix cyanide, sulphide, sodium bicarbonate, phosphate in the machine. Certainly, there are specific measurements in this mixture: For 3 grams of gold, I add 20 grams of sul- phide, 20 grams of phosphate, and 5 grams of eyanide and 20 grams of sodiı.ım bicarbonate. I add these ingredients to a pot full of 1250 grams of water which I heat by giving electricity. I do the plastering by touching the electric cable to the object to which I smear this mixture with cotton wool. Then, I wash it with water. Finally, I dry it by wood wool. The tombac is ready for use.” “I work from 9am to 6 p.m. Of course, I stay longer if there is more work to do. I have seven employees. Three of them are masters.”
“I am manied to my job. I am in love with it. Recently, I have been making ceramics and tombacs. If there are 120 kinds of tombac and I probably had done 110 of them. If I see a new object that I liked, I dream aboı.ıt it all night long. I begin to make it in the moming. When it is done, I even keep it by my bed at night; I love my job that mı.ıch.” “The only thing I complain about is that my designs are being imitated and copied without my permission. All I ask them is to have some respect for the master. They have no right to say that they have made somed1ing that I act:ually created.