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Oya Obsession...following that lace...

Art and Design, Burası Türkiye, Embracing abroad, Language, Traditionsemily kisa1 Comment

Oya is the Turkish word for all types of lace making; unique crochet and needle lace,  motifs and color pallets having evolved regionally...and my favorites...

crocheted motif in poppy red!

crocheted motif in poppy red!

Oya directly translates to 'embellish' but there is so much lost in translations isn't there...I'm a visual gal...and experiential learner...

My obsession with this Oya, this craft started fresh in Turkey but...long before our collision it was inside me in one form or another...

beading on my bead as a little girl followed by pursuing an Applied design degree,  art school...craft classes; jewelry and metals, pouring molten iron into sand block molds, carving wood into furniture and organic forms, fiber art classes with free form crochet sculptures from teachers who stressed high quality materials...art and craft on my brain and in my blood...High quality...hand work....this is how I went to Turkey.

was free from life... or free in life...on an adventure... to Turkey...Study abroad...fine art in another country...yabancı öğrencı

My other crafty friend and I got to Istanbul ..with our ginormous suitcases (rook travelers?). Were met in typical Turkish hospitality by a nice skinny Turk (not my nice skinny turk p.s.) who had ridden a train 5 hours to kindly welcome us to his country. Proceeded to lug said suitcases uppppppp uppppp flights of stairs through swarms of salmon like swimming upstream and up stairs in of a busy metropolitan bridge with that said ginormous suitcase then the noise ...the azan- the loud speaker crackles and blasts out  this beautiful...call tp prayer...I stop...no one else does...except my other foreign friend...woah our adventure hit us..

Insert many stories and adventures...many beautiful carpets and cheap tourist trap crafts but I would always see these village women on the outskirts of my adventures in their headscarves...the bright colors...the dancing trim...fluttering in the wind...it was like a movie where everything slows and my eyes would focus in on just that trim...I would try to take these womens pictures casually when in reality I wanted to talk and touch the scarf...but those early days with out that language it was a lot of smiling and nodding for this girl...tea with sugar cubes...ohhhsweetturkey

This Muslim country intrigued me, the women in the smaller villages were not all dressed in black and covered but instead adorned in a million colors and patterns all mixed together no rhyme or reason except color! it just straight color...many had these scarves tied on their heads with this handiwork that I knew I needed to get my hands on...needed a closer look...it was hard though...hard to find good quality examples in my little college town in Turkey...first time I became obsessed, my serendipity of sorts was we took a trip to Iznik and I found vintage examples, yemeni- scarves with the crocheted or needle lace edging with wood block printed flowers in wild color combinations...

yemeni.jpg

the chase continued...I saw something in this craft that I was dying to tweek just a bit the urk and modernize ..but how could I learn it? How could I find quality crafters...quality...this craft has degraded in quality since the fall on the ottoman empire...

oh yeah and p.s. I couldn't speak the freaking language...

While in the back of my mind...somewhat trapped in your mind when you can't communicate with words yet all your other senses are so exposed and hyper sensitive. raw...you come home exhausted...this fight to hold on to who you are and what you know and communicate with other humans. I did a lot of smiling and a lot of tea sipping those first many months- years even...lots of eating...lots of hospitality absorption in the quest to not be rude...lots of kind eyes...kind big brown eyes like the ones my husband has and the ones my children inherited...kind Turkish eyes, sips of tea, smiling, frustration, flashes of color and lace and handicraft hunting...oh yes swimming in that beautiful sea...but that was later down this road...

aegean sea

aegean sea

Serendipity: :

 the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for

Have you had times of sweet serendipity? Be it a person? A place? or a thing?

Do tell...I love comments!

That's it for now...too be continued...

This is simply my collision and chase of the oya... a touch of there history here.

Inspired all of this