photo of meerschaum

Sinan Atilla

Sinan Carving a meerchaum pipe

As a young thirteen year old, Sinan Atilla noticed a workshop on his way to school in his neighborhood in Istanbul, Turkey. Venturing inside he met the master meerschaum carver Eyup Sabri Yegul, who was famous worldwide for his artful meerschaum pipes.

Mr. Yegul soon took Sinan under his wing. He hired Sinan to read Greek Mythology to him as he developed inspiration for his carvings. Over time, Mr. Yegul taught Sinan to make simple carvings. Sinan then began to started to learn how to use a lathe to shape meerschaum. An eager Sinan learned the basics of making pipes and developed his own designs of boxes. Eventually Sinan started creating his own unique meercham art.

Sinan attended a technical high school in Istanbul where he learned to make technical drawings and trained as both a machinist and ferry captain. Maritime knots gave him the inspiration for some of the patterns in his carvings. Earning an Associate degree in Agricultural Machinery Design allowed him to excel in technical drawing. carvings of meerschaum eggsThe attention to detail he developed over the years through life experiences is reflected in his carvings. In his mid-twenties Sinan developed an interest in learning about Japanese language and culture and spent time in Japan. Some of the boxes were inspired by and designed for Japanese tea ceremonies.

Sinan continues to experiment with different materials to compliment his meerschaum designs. He uses horn, amber and wood as mouthpieces for his pipes. Everything coming out of his workshop is entirely handmade with great attention to detail.

Sinan still lives in Istanbul, with his wife and two children. When his is not carving meerschaum, he is a licensed Japanese speaking tour guide. As a tour guide he enjoys sharing his deep love and fascination for turkey and its culture that he is fiercely proud of.