The greatest joy of teaching in Turkey has been talking to students and colleagues about their work. I had the opportunity to meet with and see the work of a number of them this week and it was both an interesting and enjoyable experience. Time for coffee or tea is an integral part of the Turkish culture. I hope to bring back that spirit of time to talk and share over a cup of tea. We always seem to be in too much of a hurry in the US to do this with regularity.
I continued to work with Ekrem Hocam on my pate de verre molds. We prepared the glass for them this week. We had to calculate the amount of glass by using water displacement with my 3D model. We crushed a good deal of glass into three colors and measured the amounts (only 1 small cut). The colors are clear, amber and garnet and transparent.
The molds were loaded into the kiln on Thursday and the program set to first dry the molds out. The clay cups hold the glass and allow it to melt slowly into the molds. We placed 1/3 of the glass in each at first. The molds were then heated to melting temperature (about 850 C) and then cooled enough to open the door and add another third and then heated, and repeated for a third time. The firing ended Friday evening. Now the molds need to cool slowly to avoid cracks. It will likely be Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning before I get to see them. Needless to say, the suspense is great!
The wheel throwing area in the Ceramics-Glass department hosted Aven Satre-Maloy on Friday. Aven is a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant from Helena, Montana. When we met a couple months ago, I asked if he knew about the Archie Bray Foundation and he politely giggled and mentioned his grandfather was Peter Maloy who started the Bray with Archie! I told him I was a Bray resident twice and that the place meant a great deal to me. We kept in touch and when Aven said he wanted to visit the program here at Anadolu University and be able to wheelthrow, I worked with Cemal Sevin who teaches wheel throwing to make it happen. It was a great day, with faculty and students watching and throwing together.
A fantastic dinner party for the students of Zehra Cobanli topped off the week. Some of them are colleagues of mine at the Fine Arts Faculty and the others I met are working and teaching ceramics in the area. I was privileged to see the respect and admiration for Zehra as a teacher and friend. It was a truly special evening.
The holidays are fast approaching. Parties are planned for the next couple weeks. I will not be home for the holidays and will miss my family and friends. Instead, I will have my Turkish friends and colleagues to celebrate bringing in the New Year with.
Disclaimer: This is not an official Department of State website, and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the Department of State.