HALI (Turkish for "Rug")

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

DIRECTOR
Gül Ümit Erbil

CAMERA
Gül Ümit Erbil
Peter Hristoff

POST PRODUCTION
Ev Yapımı İşler
Değişim Medya

MUSIC
Jehat Hekimoğlu

Jehat Hekimoğlu (Guitar, Percussion)
Doğan Özcan (Trumpet)

SUBTITLES
Nada Mohammed

SPECIAL THANKS
Funda Can; Filiz İrgi; Ayhan Ortaç; Evin Ortaç; Eylem Ortaç; Aysun Özdemir; Songül Uykan; Osman Can Hali Studio, Çamlık, Turkey

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