Feltmaker Travels to Konya – TurkeyI had always wanted to make my very own rug, so when I heard about a felt rug making course that was being held in Turkey and at the same time that there was funding available. I quickly got down to doing some serious research on feltmaking to ensure that my application was strong. I arranged an appointment to visit the V&A in London and was excited to be shown 10 very special pieces of felt from the vaults right at the back of the museum. My application was successful 🙂
A month later I was travelling to Turkey to attend a 5 day intensive felt rug making course to learn the traditional Turkish methods that have been passed down for generations.
This course was run by Mehmet Girgic, a master felt-maker who learnt his skills from father to son. Mehmet is internationally known for his felt rug making business and travels worldwide teaching his craft. He owns a large shop and showroom in the high street in Konya.
The information below is just a little taster of my experience whist learning the amazing skills on this course.
If you would like to hear the full story, then you may like to book me to give a slide show talk and short demonstrations of the processes that were involved.
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I arrived at 10pm Sunday evening for my 5 day course The street view- Mehemet’s shop is situated is in this beautiful bustling street full of atmosphere and charm. The street was so full of atmospheric with so many interesting shops and antiques to rummage through. I loved it came away with some lovely trinkets, well! you just have to buy a few things don’t you! It would be rude not too. As you can see the street was full of suspended vibrant kilim woven rugs. I could have spent all day in these little shops. It was so exciting to be surrounded by the hustle and bustle,the colours, textures and smells. I was in my element. Monday morning, after choosing the design the night before and rolling some of the outline, until 2.30am. Then Monday morningI was up at 7.30-bright and early and in the shop by 8.30 am. Here I am sitting on my paper design, covered with a clear plastic taped to the floor andI am laying down the outline to my design. Day 3 am Felting with a candle at the side as there were power cuts. There was a little light, but the flash on the camera lite up the image. At this point in time, the realizationhit home that I was working against the clock and there was no time for slacking! Day 3 pm At the wool Bazaar. We chose our fleece which would be our background for the rug. Here Mehmet is dying the fleece a beautiful gold colour. This will be used for the backing of the rug. Day 5 – The fulling process Rubbing,stretching, stomping, rubbing the rug took most of the 5th afternoon. After very long – 12 hour days, the rug is finally finished!! Image- Mehmet and I are on the completed rug at midnight, with a big smile on my face I was so happy to have completed and dried my rug sufficiently to pack away in my suitcase just in time for my flight home the following morning. Now what an amazing achievement that I will never forget.