Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Mixed Metal Ring with Copper, Bronze, Brass
Alpaca and Titanium
You can take your pick of exploring either mountain ranges or exotic beaches within Antalya, Turkey. 

Walking along the beaches of Antalya provides a precursor to water activities including wind surfing, sailing and water skiing.  Turkey is also home to featured jewelry designer Temel Bahadir.

Since 3000 B.C.  the country of Turkey has been a premier center for quality jewelry making.

Anatolia in particular has been the location for important breakthroughs including minting the first gold coin and refining raw gold.

The skyrocketing price of gold notwithstanding in 2006 Turkey ranked second “in its demand for gold,” and was also among the top five producers of gold jewelry.  Turkish jewelers are equally adept at creating sterling silver jewelry.

Renowned for its high finished and variegated jewelry making designs acquired from Turkey are highly prized as Orhan Gurhan and Yossi Harari are two of the leading Turkish jewelry designers.

Based in Sweden, sixty-four-year-old Bahadir definitely reaffirms that Turkey’s superlative artisanship is still alive and well.  Like New Zealand-based designer Debra Fallowfield, Bahadir specializes in mixing metals; blending Neapolitan style mixtures of sterling silver, bronze, copper, titanium, and brass.
Sterling Silver and Copper Earrings
Many of his pendant necklaces are abstract amulets while others resemble family crests.  The blackened, reddish and white metals, organic lineation and richness of design make for fabulously rustic and earthy designer jewelry.

“I am not quite a traditional craftsman and most of the techniques I employ in my work are my own hybrids that I have developed through long and weary experiments.  I do not work with precious gemstones, single metal jewelry or enameling.  I work more like a shaman,” he says of his creative process.

Sterling Silver Pendant Necklace
With about nine years of intensive study in metal crafts that include tutelage in London, Turkey and Sweden, Bahadir’s work is so commanding I didn’t necessarily miss the omission of gemstones.

Instead he artfully etches abstract patterns within the brass, cooper or sterling silver producing truly unique jewelry designs.  From a visual standpoint his jewelry creations are a fantastic play of color, texture and form.
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