Ece TEMİZ MALKOC
When they ask me how and when I started doing this work, they receive that classical reply; “While I was sewing dresses for my baby dolls when I was little.”
As being a daughter to a mother who was sewing dresses for herself and me while, at the same time, working in a bank, I first started collecting the unused fabric, built my own designs and created dresses for my dolls. However, this handcrafts curiosity in me wasn’t limited only to sewing. When my teacher told us to tell our mothers to weave a crochet pencil case for us, knowing that my mother didn’t know how to crochet, I remember that I unraveled a woolen pot holder when I returned home from school and I tried and learned how to crochet with a crochet hook that I’d borrowed from my grandmother, by unraveling, weaving and then unraveling again. I was just 6 when, during a school holiday, I learned tatting from a relative and knitting from that old neighboring lady. As an only child growing up by herself, it always made me happy to get myself busy with handcrafts in those times left over from school and homework. My mother’s colleagues at work still remember, with gigles, how I had sewn one of my mother’s friend’s waistcoat to the chair she was sitting on.
During my geological engineering education at the university, the way that I hand-knitted before the toughest exams made my friends think that I was “crazy” or something J But, for me, busying myself with handcrafts became the best method of ridding myself of stress at every possible situation. My interest in beginning patchwork happened more or less at these times during university. My retired mother began taking patchwork lessons and then I started “playing” with fabrics in my off-school/homework time.
I reply to those who tell me that I chose the wrong occupation as being a geological engineer, in the following way: Actually, handworks are the form of engineering itself. Classes that I took at the university, e.g. technical drawing, arithmetic and geometry, provides an important help at my patchworking technique.
As a consequence of my husband’s work assignment to Belgium from the capital, Ankara, in 2004, our moving to Belgium for one year created a great and very important opportunity for me to learn European way of quilting. In addition to all this, it is very unfortunate that I knew nothing about felt making, which is a very traditional Turkish art, and that I learned how to do it in Belgium. At the end of our one year in Belgium, I came back to Turkey; I established my company in 2006 as a handcrafts studio
During all these years as a teacher, I prepared my students to compete at contests organized at festivals, organized exhibitions and held kermises to raise funds for several charities and welfare associations. All the events (competitions, exhibitions and awards) I attended are as follows: