Begum Cana Ozgur talks about fusion of ancient knowledge and contemporary design.

Posted by Darling Spring on

Our darling designer Begum Cana Ozgur, based in New York, brings you unique craftswomanship through a fusion of ancient knowledge and contemporary design. 

Cana's passion for weaving merges her cultural heritage with her experimental process and with each collection, she embarks on a journey in technique and a design idea to tackle. 

We are ever so proud of working with her as the ancient loom finds new expressions at her hand. We hope you enjoy her contemporary take on the area rug and tapestry design and create your unique spaces with her work.

Hi Cana, can we get to know you? What is your story?

I am a designer from Turkey and my work focuses mostly on textiles. Educated in interior and product design, I found out about my interest in textiles during my master’s degree studies at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. The interdisciplinary and open configuration of the school allowed me to find my own voice as a designer and helped me discover my own process. 
I learned to weave there, and once I started working on the loom I was amazed to see how open it was to experimentation. I also enjoyed very much the process of weaving, such a meditative practice.
Upon my graduation in 2013, I moved back to Istanbul to explore more on this medium. I built a loom, rented a studio space, and started experimenting with colors, materials, textures, and structures on the loom. 
After a while, it was time to put these explorations in production and I hit the roads to the villages of Anatolia to find weavers to collaborate within the production. Together with a small group of women weavers, dye masters, and rug repairers, we began producing contemporary flatweaves. It has been an ongoing journey!

Handwoven Flatweave Rugs by Begum Cana Ozgur at Darling Spring Detail of handwoven flatweave rug by Begum Cana Ozgur at Darling Spring

Your work is not only practical but also artistic. What is your vision on design?
 
As a designer, I am less interested in the objects as functional items but companions of life. I am interested in the non-mechanical functions of objects. Human needs are multidimensional. Beyond our physical body, we have emotional and sociological needs. I am always seeking ways to create emotional engagement through objects. Once the object starts talking to you, once it recalls your memories, or triggers your imagination, it starts to find a place in your inner world.

Handwoven flatweave Area Rug in an airy room by Begum Cana Ozgur at Darling Spring Detail of handwoven flatweave wool area rug by Begum Cana Ozgur at Darling Spring

In the world we live in now, what is the importance of craftsmanship?
 
Today’s society is always looking for individual solutions. We are not simply satisfied with standardized and sterile products of industrial production. We are looking for products that would reflect our unique personality and individuality. Craftsmanship brings that individuality and uniqueness to each product. There is also an awakening in the value of slow production. 
Things that are produced slowly are also consumed slowly. They have a higher value both economically and emotionally, and therefore last longer. If we want this world to survive, we all have to slow down. 

Handwoven wool and viscose blend tapestry by Begum Cana Ozgur at Darling Spring  Handwoven wool and viscose blend tapestry by Begum Cana Ozgur at Darling Spring

Weaving is an essential part of your products. Is this related to your cultural roots?

I am always fascinated by the cultural richness of my homeland Turkey and it has been a great influence on my work. I have been so lucky to have all the ancient knowledge within my reach to develop my practice. I work with craftspeople, learn the key parts of the process from them, and merge them with my experimental process. This fusion results in the development and adaptation of skills, suggesting new ways of doing and enables design ideas to find an authentic form.

designer interview handmade

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