5th International Gölcük Ceramic Symposium took place at Kocaeli University Değirmendere Ali Özbay Trade College, Değirmendere Gölcük settlement from May 18 to May 25, 2015, with the collaboration of Kocaeli University Değirmendere Ali Özbay Trade College Gölcük Municipality and Gölcük City Council as part of Gölcük Vision 2023.
The opening ceremony of the 5th International Gölcük Symposium and the symposium opening exhibition featuring close to 25 ceramic and glass works took place on May 18, 2015 at Gölcük Kazıklı Kervansaray Culture Building. The ceremony started with the opening speech by Symposium Conductor Asst. Prof. Dr. Nermin Demirkol. Following the speeches of protocol; the honor artist of the symposium, Mustafa Tunçalp, opened the symposium opening seminar on “Hamiye Çolakoğlu”. After the presentation, the group exhibition comprising ceramic and glass works by approximately 25 artists was toured. The exhibition drew great interest from the guests.
After the visiting of the group exhibition on the first day of the exhibition, the solo show named “Organic-Inorganic Ceramic Objects” by Afyon Kocatepe University Faculty of Fine Arts Instructor Hasan Şahbaz was toured at Değirmendere Art House. Lecturer Hasan Şahbaz noted that he was first introduced with Gölcük Ceramic Symposium when he attended the third ceramic symposium two years ago as a guest artist. Şahbaz said that he held his 8th solo exhibition at Değirmendere Art House on the occasion of the symposium upon the invitation of Project Coordinator Asst. Prof. Nermin Demirkol and that the creation process of the exhibition consisted of the three different periods of production in the last eight years. The show was open for Kocaeli public and art lovers from May 18 to 25, 2015.
On May 19, 2015, symposium participants started their work at Kocaeli University Değirmendere Ali Özbay Trade College ceramic studios. On the evening of May 19, a symposium guest artist, Emre Kantar, and his band gave a concert to the people of Gölcük at Değirmendere Amphitheater with their ceramic percussion instruments and magnificent guitars. On the third day of the symposium, an honor artist, George Washington State University Faculty of Fine Arts Ceramics Department Head Prof. Türker Özdoğan, offered a workshop on “Tool-Free Ceramic Shaping”. Prof. Türker Özdoğan’s opening words for the workshop were “Ceramic is a fact present since human beings came to existence. Prof. Özdoğan, remarking that what one definitely has to know about ceramic was to create something just by hands without using any tools and that this technique was known as “pinch” in ceramics. Özdoğan said, “if you are a master of the pinch method, then you will do all methods well because in pinch, the thickness of the clay is controlled and pinched by you all the time, reflecting to you the essence of that clay”.
On May 21, while on the one hand ceramic artists continued to work on the pieces to be donated to the symposium collection in Değirmendere Ali Özbay Trade College Ceramic Studios, symposium honour guest Prof. Zehra Çobanlı first gave a seminar themed “Ceramic Undercoats” at Kocaeli University Değirmendere Ali Özbay Trade College seminar hall. After that, she held a workshop on ceramic undercoats entitled “The rhytm of the earth”. At the workshop, Prof. Çobanlı demonstrated various decor techniques executed using colored ceramic undercoats to students, who along with the art fans, following the workshop got the chance to implement these decor techniques under the guidance of the honor artist.
On May 22, symposium honor artist and participants took a brake on the symposium work with a technical trip to Iznik. During the trip, Iznik Çini and Ceramic Foundation, Blue Çini and Ceramic, Green Mosque, Nilüfer Hatun Medresah and Iznik Çini Studios were visited.
On May 23, 2015, as the symposium artists were busy with their studio work, two symposium events took place on the same day. The first one was the “Ceramic Hand Shaping for Kids”. The second event was the raku firing workshop at Değirmendere Amphitheater. The workshop was done by Kocaeli University Değirmendere Ali Özbay Trade College instructor M. Cem Güçlüer, from Demiette University Ceramics Department Mohamed El Abd Khalil, and from Mersin Üniversitesi Jewelry Technology and Design College Instructor Serkan Gönenç. Instructors Serkan Gönenç and Cem Güçlüer imparted detailed information to the audience on firing. Also, fired at the workshop, was the piece made by Egyptian artist Mohamed El Abd to be donated to the symposium collection.
On May 24, symposium guest artist Uşak University Faculty of Arts instructor Ömer Görkem held a potter’s wheel show.
The 5th International Gölcük Ceramic Symposium had a great closing on May 25, 2015. Among those attending the closing ceremony of the symposium were Gölcük District Governor Adem Yazıcı, Gölcük Mayor Mehmet Ellibeş, Gölcük City Council President Dr. Metin Şentürk, Kocaeli University Değirmendere Ali Özbay Trade College Vice-Principal Asst. Prof. Nermin Demirkol, Gölcük Deputy Mayors Levent Değirmenci and İbrahim Tektaş, DESSAT Değirmenderespor Underwater Society Head Sait Gürer, DESSAT Instructor Murat Kulakaç, DESSAT members, world deep diving record holder Şahika Ercümen, underwater camera director and photographer Tahsin Ceylan, symposium honour artist Prof. Zehra Çobanlı, symposium invited artists, students, art lovers and the people of Gölcük. The closing event started with the opening of the photograph exhibition titled “Art in the Deep”, comprising 20 photographs by underwater camera director and photographer Tahsin Ceylan. The section which remained under the water in 1999 earthquake in Değirmendere is known as Sunken City. There is an exhibition by Değirmendere Ali Özbay Trade College Ceramic, Glass and Çini Making program students featuring ceramic and glass works at Sunken City. The photographs of the exhibition installed by DESSAT divers were taken by Tahsin Ceylan and were presented to the people of Gölcük and art lovers as part of the 5th International Gölcük Symposium. Plaques were presented to world deep diving record holder Şahika Ercümen, Tahsin Ceylan and President Sait Gürer on behalf of DESSAT participating in the exhibition opening for their contributions to the symposium. Stating that art had a different flavor in Değirmendere, Ercümen added that she would always come back. Afterwards, Tahsin Ceylan and DESSAT divers dove to Sunken City, allowing the public to see the underwater exhibition reflecting its images live onto the barcovision set up at Çınarlık Square. Concurrently, Değirmendere shore also hosted an exhibition comprising the ceramic and glass works by Değirmendere Ali Özbay Trade School Ceramic, Glass and Çini Making program students.
Lastly, it was time for Değirmendere Art House where the closing exhibition, featuring the works of symposium invited artists, was visited and a certification ceremony was held. Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, District Governor Yazıcı said, “Here we will get the chance to see all pieces made through the symposium. I congratulate all our artists presenting works each finer than the other and thank them individually for the flavor they added to our district. Mayor Ellibeş said, “We are leaving behind quite a nice symposium. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to and put an effort in the realization of this symposium. Symposium conductor Asst. Prof. Dr. Demirkol, on the other hand said, “We are proud to successfully complete the fifth one of the International Gölcük Ceramic Symposium which is raising the bar every year. We’ll make every effort to make sure that this symposium now known countrywide and worldwide preserves its place permanently among all organized ceramic symposiums. I’d like to thank everyone in both this symposium held with the collaboration of Kocaeli University Gölcük Municipality and Gölcük City Council, all honour and invited artists. Hoping to see you all at the 6th International Gölcük Ceramic Symposium…”. After viewing of the exhibited pieces, the symposium ended with the certification ceremony.
SYMPOSIUM PARTICIPANT ARTISTS
Ashley HOWARD (Britain), Birsen Canbaz (Turkey), Emre KANTAR (Turkey), Füsun ÇÖVENOĞLU (Turkey), Johanna RYÖTKÖLA (Finland), Melike ÖZCAN (Turkey), Mohamed El Abd KHALİL (Egypt), Ömer GÖRKEM (Turkey), Serkan GÖNENÇ (Turkey).
Prepared by: Asst. Prof. Dr. Nermin DEMİRKOL,
Kocaeli University, Değirmendere Ali Özbay Trade College Vice-Principal