1998 - Euphrates river, Halfeti, Turkey
From the heat of the Australian outback to the chilled mornings of a Turkish coastal winter, the movement between Australia and Turkey was a consistent theme in our family growing up. Living in Turkey for months at a time while visiting family, we saw the multifarious layers of the culture and country we are connected to through our father’s blood.
Studio Buldan was formed with the vision that this dual connection of cultures could contribute to the continuation of a unique element of Turkish tradition - the original hand-woven peştemal. The entrance of the peştemal into the modern textile industry has seen the traditionally hand-woven peştemal pushed out of the market and replaced by automated, mass-produced peştemal, eliminating the talent of the human hand.
Studio Buldan endeavours to further strengthen an otherwise dying art form.
Starting from a simple idea that had formed years back, Studio Buldan was developed with our Dad over hot cups of çay (tea) in the Turkish summer and road trips across the countryside. These conversations led to thoughts being shaped into action, and soon enough the beginnings of Studio Buldan had emerged.
Growing up, each of our visits took us across the vast Turkish country to different towns and cities so that we had a taste of the richness of our Turkish culture. We travelled from the far Eastern villages along the piercing blue Euphrates river, down to the sleepy coastal towns, and all the way West to the modern, bustling life that is Istanbul.
Each pocket of our Turkish experience never failed to demonstrate the country’s own unique and diverse elements. However, amongst this diversity there remained one common thread - the use of the peştemal.
The vibrant colours, unique patterns and soft touch of traditionally made peştemal is a memorable experience, and one we wanted to share with others.
Studio Buldan draws on relationships formed by our Dad with some of the last Turkish master weavers. A Turk himself, Dad is an organic farmer based in both Gellibolu (Gallipoli) and the Western mountainous region, Zeytinli. Along with his partner Kubra, he lives a self-sufficient lifestyle, enjoying the food from their land and having a deep appreciation for his people and place.
Bringing these values into the development of Studio Buldan, Dad and Kubra set out to find authentic, traditionally-made peştemal. As a result, they have established meaningful partnerships with weavers in Buldan. These partnerships are the cornerstone of Studio Buldan.