Students at a private school in Gaziantep province are learning the traditional handicraft of copper processing at a course started by the Chamber of Coppersmiths and Nacre Engravers.
Approximately 100 students of all ages from primary to high school receive training on copper processing two hours a week.
Gaziantep Chamber of Coppersmiths and Nacre Engravers President, Celal Açık told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they have initiated various projects since 2008, trying to achieve a number of firsts in their field.
Explaining that a private college has started to offer copper processing as part of their elective courses, Açık said that they are happy to fulfill their dreams.
He said he started this job at the age of 10 and noted that the students show great interest in the classes and their hands are good at copper processing as they are small.
'Coppersmiths and turners are much-needed'
Stressing people cannot become masters without being apprentices first, Açık said, "We want to teach this craft starting from elementary school. We started at Erdem College. We want to advance this process. We also have a dream to open a two-year course at the university. We will teach both theory and practice this way. Everyone cannot be a doctor or an engineer. Coppersmiths, turners and baklava makers are needed as well. The most powerful chambers in the world are professional ones. If we join forces together we can support both our profession and our economy."
General Manager of the college Mehmet Örfi Sönmez stated that they give importance to teaching by practicing and said they added copper processing as an elective course to the curriculum.
They try to add elective courses in line with the concerns of the students, Sönmez said, and added they are happy to contribute to the development of copper processing.
He mentioned that this issue came up at a meeting which they had with the Gaziantep Chamber of Coppersmiths and Nacre Engravers. "They said that they could teach our children. We then established our workshop two and a half months ago," the manager said.
Students to have new hobbies and occupations
Noting they provide education to students of all ages from primary school to high school, Sönmez continued, "Currently, primary school students are taking lessons. They will have a chance to continue in this profession, starting at a young age. We have 100 students now; they receive this education two hours a week. The hours will increase in line with the development of our students. Training continues on Saturdays, as well. We get incredible feedback from our students and their parents. They could not even hold the hammer when they first started but now they can shape a pattern on copper with a hammer. They will produce nice work by the end of the year. In the future, they will have new hobbies and occupations."
Sönmez said that they want to raise individuals who develop not only academically but also in art and sports, and thanked everyone who contributes to the copper processing education program. One of the course attendees, Zeynep İrem Murat, 7, emphasized that she loves the copper processing, "It is not hard. We draw figures and flowers. I am sure I will create nice works. We try not to hammer our hands."