Kalemişi (Hand Carving) is one of the classical art branches of Turks coming from the Uighurs to modern days and is one of the important art branches that has specific rules and wide field of application.
The kalemişi may be diversified as on plaster, on stone, on cloth, on leather and on wood hand carvings.
The art has styled and taken shape in accordance with the religious, military and civil architecture.
In the oldest example are seen in Karahoça and Bezeklik caves in Middle Asia. So little amount of original examples belonging to old days’ reach to modern days due to the external factors and destruction arising from unconscious renewals.
After the design applied on technically semipermeable papers are pierced with needles, the design transferred to the wall by buffering with the help of a pouch of coal dust and applied with the help of various paints and brushes. The person applying the kalemişi is called KALEMKAR and the person designing and then applying the kalemişi is called NAKKAŞ.
Since the hand carving is an art branch that is more in sight, it was the source of inspiration for other art branches. Some people and artists that do not know kalemişi define this art as a rougher version of Tezhip (gilding), which is a very wrong approach. Neither the tezhip is a smaller version of kalemişi, nor kalemişi is a rougher and bigger version of tezhip. Kalemişi is an art branch that has comprises specific rules of its own.
Today, the educated kalemkar and nakkaş need is at the highest level. It would even be right to say that it can be count on the fingers of one hand. It can be possible to overcome this problem by opening this as a main art branch and offering as a course in architecture faculties.
Two or three courses opened by municipalities and foundations, which is an accurate number and pleases us, is by all means insufficient. When Kalemişi, which we call as an art construing meaning to places, is applied by uneducated people, the place loses its meaning. We hope that the officials will find a solution for this problem.