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Pelin Tezer of Bodrum
1. Tell us about yourself.
I Born and grew up in Ankara, Turkey. Worked as secretary until retired in 1997 and moved to Bodrum, an Aegean town; now leading a content life with a dear husband, two cats, five dogs, loads of trees, squirrels and birds!
2. How did you become involved in needlework?
I always had an interest in crafts. But living in a big town and working at the same time did not avail until I moved to Bodrum where I had plenty of time for myself. My very favourate had always been cross stitch until I discovered filet crochet, filet lace and the wonderful old patterns of the genre which were so very suitable for monochrome cross stitch; needlepoint; knitting! That is when I started using antique filet details from linens, runners, pillow cases, curtains and whatever I could find.
My acquintance with internet and its merits was in 2003 when we moved to a bigger town in the area. It was then that I was quite surprised not to see the very rich and colourful motifs of Anatolia which led me to introduce simple carpet/kilim patterns in various platforms free of charge. I had no idea then that these would be the first steps of a new beginning. It is about the same time that I purchased a simple cross stitch software to start scribbling my little roses that would form the very first design “Glorious Bordeaux”. Very soon after, I was lucky to meet Ant of Sweden who where my first commercial appearance in the net.
3. Do you involve family members in any aspect of your design/teaching business?
Yes, my husband … I always seek his advice when I complete working on a pattern.
4. Where does the inspiration for your work come from?
I am mostly inspired of the past … Old tapestries, filet lace motifs and samplers. I very much admire and am influenced by the hand-painted 19th Century Berlin Work patterns which were mostly used for needlepoint and beadwork.
5. Describe how your work changed since you first got started in needlework?
I am less productive as I learn more. I believe it is due to the fact that the more I know, the more I want to compose something different and special and that is not easy. I now have a very rich library of international sources and when I look at what has been achieved in the past, everything seems a repeat. That is why I try giving my patterns a personality by combining medieval motifs in a Middle-Eastern figure. A good example is “Muska”.
6. How has modern technology impacted your style or your work?
Very positively and immensely. However, surfing in the net introduced new techniques which were too attractive to ignore. I now spend more time discovering these new techniques which leaves no time for my old passion; cross stitch.
The design is courtesy of Lindstedt Collection of a 19th Century Berlin Work design, featured at Pelin's webpage.
7. How would you classify your style (modern, traditional, classic, etc)?
Definitely classic ...
8. Do any of your designs have a special story behind them?
Yes, a particular favourate of mine has. Influence was while in Syria visiting an Ottoman madrasah with its lacy tombstones. However, I have not stitched any of my patterns except for my very first commercial design “Glorious Bordeaux” and that was done as needlepoint/tapestry.
9. Where are your designs available or how can consumers purchase them?
I have a webpage where they could be purchased as PDF files. Alternatively, I have distributors in the US and France, The Netherlands, Sweden and UK.
10. When did you first learn about and begin using The Caron Collection threads?
In Holland, at a craft fair in 2008. Interestingly enough, then and again, I had used Watercolours for a smaller darning pattern.
11. How have the Caron Collection threads impacted or influenced your designs?
Silk Road was specially designed for the Caron Collection. Most of my other designs are monochrome, very suitable for the Caron Collection, particularly the hand-dyed and variegated threads.
12. What is your favorite Caron Collection thread?
I very much like the Watercolours and Waterlilies. I also like the Wildflowers. I am for the natural fibers. Unfortunately, the Caron Collection is not available in Turkey. I had to order them from the US. One other merit of internet!
13. What kind of upcoming projects or plans do you have?
Despite many people call me a “designer”, I call myself a “composer” who still is learning and is in the training process. Since a little over a year now, I have started looking into other techniques; knitting, crochet, whitework and that includes reticello, schwalm, ruskin, drawnthread, etc. etc. I have this big appetite to learn and try all.
14. What goals do you have for the future, personally or professionally?
To maintain the simple life I lead today and if I could, combine a few techniques and may be coming up with a new style, who knows! I managed to find a simple way of handweaving without any tools. So, that is a start ?
15. What has been the most fulfilling aspect for you about designing needlework?
Appreciation and positive feedback from stitchers.
16. What would you say is your greatest legacy and how would you most like to be remembered?
I do not care to be remembered. My distributors already know that if they lose contact with me while they still run their business, I want all the venues from my patterns, if any, to go to animal welfare. All my personal goodies will go for animal welfare.
17. The Internet has changed our entire society. What are the pros and cons of the Internet as it concerns our industry?
As I can follow from the net, LNSs suffered a lot from this. However, people like myself, living in the middle of nowhere, benefits plenty from its merits. I now have a huge collection of craft books and a considerable sampler collection along with various embroidery samples and stash from around the globe. I met some wonderful people and managed to introduce my work to the world via internet. I can’t think of a con other than spending too much time with it sometimes but then it also comes with its rewards – more information and knowledge!
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