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To be or not to be...a female carver

The carving as an occupation was actually progressed in parallel with the daily furniture industry and in a male-dominated way. While most craftsmen were originally working as furniture makers, they started their careers with chair heads, table legs, chair armrests, door tops and cabinet settings, but unfortunately, with the advent of CNC machines, they had to take a break for a long time or even quit.

As a result of our state's awarding of some ancestral professions under the name of cultural heritage embassy, ​​our wood carving profession, which is on the verge of dying, was granted tax exemption. Our last living masters are still working through these professional workshops and fulfilling their mission of give a hand to new generations.

It was at that point, during my sculpture education, that I was introduced to wood carving.Due to the Islamic point of view, this craft has been developed only as a gouge carving, instead of sculpting for a long period of time. Even though I was afraid of losing my three-dimensional perception, I definitely wanted to learn this two-dimensional wood carving. My goal was to synthesize both.

As an ex ballerina with a naïve nature now it’s time to survive in a male-dominated job, my colleagues naturally started to be carpenter Emrah, lumberman Seyfi, steelmaker Volkan, sharpener Fehmi Hoca, hardwareman Mikail, and local and foreign chisel makers. Since my body structure started to change, I started doing sports for extra strength and conditioning (Hi to my pt İdil). The best part of working for hours with a hammer weighing 2kg is that I can now easily carry grocery bags to the top floor in my apartment without an elevator. In addition, the young people in the neighborhood where my workshop is located rush to do everything I do for the sake of the 120 sharp chisels visible from my window.

Of course, personal satisfaction is completely indescribable. It's amazing to talk to the tree you’re going to carve, touch it, get grounded, get its permission and make exploratory works together! I think there should be more female carvers. Women's productivity, aesthetic view, practicality and visionary nature will definitely and create new opportunities and inspirations. Yes, your hands are getting veins, your arms are getting muscular, your manicurist is worried, your mother says "Gosh, where do you get this sh.. from?", your children call in the middle of your workshop and say "we’re starving ma come on here?", but you know what ? The important thing is to hold on to your dreams despite aalllll this! This is exactly what I'm trying to do...

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Oct 15, 2023

Great article and continue to hold on to your dreams and move forward no matter what anyone says my friend!!!

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