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Friday June 27th, 2008
I may forget all the details of my time in Istanbul Turkey at the www.glassfurnace.org, teaching a 2 week bead making class this June, however I will never forget all the great people I met, all the fun we had, all the love and goodness that was given to me...and all the great food...
below is a photo history of sorts from my time at the Glass Furnace in Istanbul one of the most awesome glass schools in the world...don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself...I will be there again next year at least 3 times, twice to teach again and once to take a class in glass blowing with my husband...life is good, enjoy my trip...
 
Thanks again to all who made the Glass Furnace possible, most of all to the man who established this wonderful school, Yılmaz Yalçınkaya. "one of the schools primary goals is to provide a high standard of education to its students, to form a common meeting group for local and international artists who are interested in glass art, and to contribute to the development of contemporary Turkish glass and fine arts." And I believe Yilmaz has achieved this goal...I love this school...
 
Here is my friend Pinar Hakim on the Right, she is responsible for me knowing about this wonderful school, with Yılmaz Yalçınkaya in the middle, he is the nice man who established the Glass Furnace which is a non profit organization & his lovely wife on the left...very nice people all the way around...
 
Here is the entire class, from the top right to left, we have Enis (secret agent), Tufan (Mr. Money Bags) & Omar (also know as Omar Kabab) 2nd row from right to left, Gunay (Speedy Gunay), Mari-liis (Mari-liis Mashers), Ilknur (Hojam 2, the best teachers assistant ever), Burcu (Pastry Burcu) me, Jelveh (Hojam or teacher, also known as Amonra & pop psychologist), Fulya (Lady Fulya Classic),  Sule (Sule Joon Siesta),Ayse (The Best Student), & Marlies (The Photographer),...and the cute girl in the middle standing in front of me is Beyza (the Life Saver, our Social Assistant) without her, I am not sure we would have had as much fun as we did...due to family illness my Student Debbie (not pictured), was not able to finish the course, she will come back next year...
 
This is my friend Ilknur of www.bosphorusglass.com, I also met her through Pinar Hakim, she was nice enough to except my invitation to be my class assistant, which is great, she is both Turkish & a great bead maker...without her, I would have not been able to teach my class, 4 of my Turkish students, did not speak much English...and did I mention she is a lawyer in real life....thanks again for all the help girl...
here are some of Ilknur's lovely beads...
 
Master Vladimir Kline, the Cold working hojam (teacher) from the Czech Republic...my new friend & fellow teacher...
 
Funamori by Vladimir Kline
 
Beyza the life saver, this girl, worked so hard to make sure we were all taken care of, she was an intern of sorts working for credits towards another degree, already an engineer...her title was the Social Assistant, this meant everything from translating, scheduling our events, making sure we got places safe & had all we needed in class to all kinds of other needs like fixing computers and such...just love her...
 
Speedy Gunay at the torch, no doubt making something wonderful, like her swan bead below...this young lady was so nice and kind, she brought us food and goodies from the city too...she drove like a mad women, hence her name...she also has the notes about 2 of my brand new designs, that I made at the torch, she needs to send them to me, so I can make more of these beads and she needs to teach all of us how to make her lovely Swan bead...oh and her fish, well what can I say, the girl is an artist...
some of Gunay's beads, I will get better photos to replace these, my camera cable is missing...
 
This is Burcu, she had taken classes before, like a couple of the other students, she is so sweet, & so much fun to hang out with, a great artist & friend, she is also known as Pastry Burcu, every morning she brought to class from Istanbul some kind of awesome tasting Turkish pastry...you name it we ate it...& hey I had to, it was Turkish specialty...I have these bad patches of psoriasis on my elbows, had them for years, it does not help that I torch with my elbows on the table, so they are painful, one day, Burcu brings with her not only goodies to eat, but also 2 different kinds of medicines for my elbows, she asked her sister a pharmacist, what was a good idea, she herself is an executive in a pharmaceutical company, I started using the medicines and don't you know, after years of being on American drugs for this issue, my elbows are clearing, I never complained in class about the pain, but sweet Burcu, saw it and knew it and helped...thanks again Here is a link to her website, she makes awesome beads, check out her bead photos below...www.burcutansug.com
some of the yummy beads Burcu made, the middle one is hollow...you go girl...
 
Mr. Money Bags Tufan, which by the way his last name means money in Persian I just realized...so there you go, Tufan has the biggest heart & was always asking me: Hojam, how much this design or that design cost, Hojam, how long does it take to make this design? Hojam does this effect the cost making of the bead? Hojam this is too expensive for me to make...& so it went, we had lots of fun with him in class... by the way Tufan, you still owe me a bead that you made in class...don't forget...I understand on his way home to Spain, he sold some beads to the person sitting next to him on the plane, hope it was not my bead...
Fulya Joon, better know as Lady Fulya Classic, she came to class always dressed very nice, we were all hot & going nuts, but she was sweat free, a lady, besides her large heart & great disposition towards everyone in class, from the great food she brought to class, to help with everything, she also has her very own glass color pallet & style, just look at her totem bead display she made for graduation, truly an artist...
Fulya also has her own studio fully set up for both bead making and fusing in town...it is very cool, I wanted to live there...
here are some of Fulya's lovely beads, I will get better photos soon, my camera cable is missing...these are from the on line albums...
 
This is Mari-lies, she is from Estonia...I called her Estonia or Mari-lies mashers for short, she mashed most of her beads in to these wonderful lovely beads, she is a tiffany stained glass artist in her own right, but now she is addicted to melting glass & making beads, I love love her...& we are friends forever...the Bacardi was great...the candy she gave me from her home, which was just for me, and no other person is very yummy, I am still having some...thanks for all the fun girl, see you in England soon I hope...
Here are some of the yummy beads Mari-lies made & sold on her way home...
This is Ayse, also known as the best student in class, she is the sweetest person you want to know, mother to a couple of great kids, nice hubby too, she was always on time, kept taking all kinds of notes & made all beads I made &  so much more...I mean the girl is good, this was not her first class, this is not the last you will hear of her and her art, her & her family are moving to Canada this year, where she will set up shop...oh yeah did I mention she was also a chemist...love this girl...
here are some of Ayse's beads...
More of Ayse's beads, a Dolphin & a frosty landscape...
 
Marlies our German student from Australia, she is been there for 30 years...she was known as the photographer & I would say pain in a neck every so often, we had tons of fun teasing one another about the merits of thinking you can not do something & therefore you are not able to do it verses her view that such a think is not true, some people just can not make a round beads she believed...she made the most amazing drawer knob & a ton of other cool beads...
I will add a photo of her beads later...when I get them off my camera...
 
This is our secret agent Enis, not sure if that is his real name, one day we had a camera crew from an European TV station visiting our class, doing interviews about the school and such...Enis came to me and said I do now wish to be on TV, pretty sure he is an agent of some kind, at the time of this newsletter, he had yet to tell me not to put his photo on line...we shall see if I get in trouble with my Turkish friend Enis from Belgium, between, his French, broken English & Turkish we had a ton of fun communicating, at the end of the class he was blowing vessels with a hollow tube...is that cool or what...? yes I teach that in my classes...
some of the beads Enis make in class...
 
The lovely young lady sitting next to me, watching is Sule Joon, (joon mean dear in Turkish) she is better known as sule joon Siesta in our circle, she came to class if & when she wanted...often we had to go wake her up if we knew she wanted to see a special demo, hence her nick name...the girl is in the process of getting her second PHD, so this was a relaxing trip for her, I love her style, her heart & her great smile...she will be visiting me in England in August...
here are Sule's beads, will have better photos later...
 
 
 
This is Omar, he was one of the best students in class, made some great beads, & came up with some cool colors, I learned a lot in this class, mostly from Omar...he was there everyday & ready to learn, not sure how this was possible, since him and Enis, drank and smoked cigarettes for hours every night...he also makes the most yummy kebabs you have tasted...hence his nick name Omar Kebab...see you next year...
 
Hector from Mexico City & Moise from India, 2 of the students in Vladimir's cold working class...at Santral Museum in Istanbul
 
fun at Santral Museum in Istanbul....
 
Fun at Santral Museum in Istanbul....
 
Turkish Art at the Santral Museum...Don't you think some architecture can be all about the Phallic Symbol...? a closer look at this photo was not surprising to say the least...
 
The hot shop Glass Blowing studio at the Glass Furnace
 
Playing pool at the Glass Furnace Rec Room...
 
Dorm room at the Glass Furnace...comfy rooms...
 
Dorms at the Glass Furnace...
 
One of the many bazaars in Istanbul
 
Taxim, one of the best places to shop and visit in Istanbul....
 
Pinar & Fulya, I took this photo from them on a boat in the middle of Asia & Europe on the Bosphorous sea...love my new friends...& this wonderful country called Turkey, which is both in Asia & in Europe...
 
Omar makes us the best food...
 
Driving in to Istanbul, at a rare moment of no traffic, with 20 million people plus, Istanbul is one of the busiest non capital cities in the world...
 
My favorite Kofte restaurant in Sultanemet which I did not get to go to this time, but other did....
 
the grounds at the Glass Furnace...full of Glass Art...
 
the grounds at the Glass Furnace...full of Glass Art...
 
Fulya, me & Debbie, the other student who could not finish class, she was there for only one day out of the two weeks...she will come back next time I am teaching in Turkey...
 
Class hard at work...
 
Always time for a photo with my new friends...
 
 
fun in the pool...
 
Grounds at the Glass Furnace...
 
 
 
In & about Istanbul...
 
This is the atrium area of the school, the most common and lovely place we all hung out together, on this day, Burcu brought yet another yummy Turkish specialty for us to feast on at break time...she is in stripes with her back to the camera...
 
Another view of Istanbul...this is the most gorgeous area ever...
 
we work hard in class...
 
we eat and drink in front of the Santral Museum...
 
at Santral Museum...
 
Omar makes sure the BBQ is well underway...we are too lucky...the food is awesome...
 
some more of the people who make the yummy BBQ happen...
 
Vladimir picks glass/material for his class...the glass just sits around the school, to be chosen by masters such as Vladimir, it is very cool...
 
Vladimir & his students from the right, the master himself, Tulin who brought all the meat for the big BBQ, Hector from Mexico City, Sinem who is on her way to study in Italy...Altan who is a master already & Moize from India...
 
Hector brings the best tequila from Mexico for us to taste, & boy do we ever taste it...the lovely lady sitting next to me is Nursen, she makes sure we are all taken care of at the school, I love her...& her smile...she is everyone's mom...
 
A Red Velvet Necklace & Earring set I made for the shop at the school...
 
young love...
 
more of my beads...
 
we make fish...a sea of fish...
 
 
the kiln is always so full goodies, they brought us more kilns to use...
 
Ahmet, master glass bead and flame working artist that works at the Glass Furnace...thanks for the great demos...


Bilgin, Master bead maker, Flame worker, who also works at the Glass Furnace, thanks for the demo & the gift of the lovely pendant...


More of my beads I made in class...


Sunset on the Bosphorous Sea...