Artist in Residence Peter Hristoff interviews the weavers at Can Carpet in Camlik, Turkey, about the rugs they are weaving based on the designs of The Met high school interns. A Peter Hristoff Production. Directed by Gül Ümit Erbil.
Read a related blog post, "Peter Hristoff on Keeping Turkish Rug-Making Traditions Alive," on Now at The Met.
Evin Ortaç: Evin Ortaç.
Peter Hristoff: You are weaving a rug designed by a high school student from New York. Can you tell us a bit about this process?
Evin Ortaç: I'm starting to see how big a thing "art" is. I think the designer is going to be very happy seeing the final woven piece. That's a very nice thing.
Funda Can: Funda Can.
Peter Hristoff: What is the greatest pleasure in rug making for you?
Funda Can: It's relaxing.
Peter Hristoff: Like meditating?
Funda Can: Yes.
Peter Hristoff: And was it always so?
Funda Can: It wasn't like this when I was 18.
Peter Hristoff: And how was it then?
Funda Can: Then it was something to do to pass the time.
Peter Hristoff: At what point did this change?
Funda Can: After a break of 18 years, I realized that it was something I missed. And the best thing I could possibly do.
Songül Uykan: Songül Uykan.
Peter Hristoff: What is the best part of weaving for you?
Songül Uykan: The center.
Peter Hristoff: The center?
Songül Uykan: Yes, I like working on the center area of a rug the best.
Peter Hristoff: How long have you been working on this particular rug?
Songül Uykan: Two months.
Peter Hristoff: How many hours do you weave per day?
Songül Uykan: Eight or nine hours.
Peter Hristoff: And at what point do you feel "I need a break"? Can you continue from morning till noon?
Songül Uykan: Oh yes, I can definitely continue until noon.
Filiz İrgi: Filiz İrgi.
Peter Hristoff: This design is created by an American student. What do you think it's depicting?
Filiz Irgi: That's what I wanted to ask you.
Peter Hristoff: If I remember correctly, this design is about the connection between life and spirituality. This motif in the middle is an open book, implying we should be open in life.
Aysun Özdemir: Aysun Özdemir.
Peter Hristoff: You're working together on a rug with a traditional Seljuq motif. Did you know that?
Aysun Özdemir: No I didn't, but as we started working, our director explained its significance and meaning. We slowly started to study and understand this history.
Peter Hristoff: What the symbols are and what they mean?
Aysun Özdemir: Yes, for example, I didn’t know what this meant until I asked. It interested me, and now I know.
Eylem Ortaç: Eylem Ortaç.
Peter Hristoff: I wonder how you're interpreting these motifs?
Eylem Ortaç: For example, I see these as being "old windows," these four. These diamond shapes look like similar motifs we use in our rugs.
Peter Hristoff: There are four separate windows?
Eylem Ortaç: Yes, black and white.
Peter Hristoff: And what does black and white imply?
Eylem Ortaç: Black is cruel, dark, and white is peaceful, good.
Peter Hristoff: It could also imply night and day.
A PETER HRISTOFF PRODUCTION
Gül Ümit Erbil
Gül Ümit Erbil
Ev Yapımı İşler
Jehat Hekimoğlu (Guitar, Percussion)
Doğan Özcan (Trumpet)
Funda Can; Filiz İrgi; Ayhan Ortaç; Evin Ortaç; Eylem Ortaç; Aysun Özdemir; Songül Uykan; Osman Can Hali Studio, Çamlık, Turkey