Istanbul Trip
Gallery I
Snake Book
Historical Snakes
Errata Sheet
Classes, Kits
Istanbul Trip

A view of Istanbul from the terrace cafe of the
Topkapi Palace.

View from our hotel, the Richmond Hotel in Taxim Square

The trip to Istanbul, Turkey for the International Bead and Beadwork conference in November of 2007 was a real adventure.  Between my joint lecture with Jane Kimball on Turkish prisoner-of-war beadwork made during World War I and my Bead Crochet Snake Bracelet class, we had little of time to explore the city.  Don did manage to snap a few photos, so here is a quick view.


The International Bead and Beadwork Conference was held at Kadir Has University in the Cibali area of istanbul, Turkey from November 22-25.  The university itself was an interesting venue because the building had been a tobacco processing and cigarette factory at one time and the architects incorporated the industrial aspects of the old factory into the renovation.
In all honesty, I must mention that organization of the conference did not go smoothly and there is a battle going on about reimbursement to a number of people.  That said, the academic program organized by Valerie Hector and Jamey Allen was very strong with a lot of interesting speakers.  Although there was little publicity about the beadwork classes, the students who showed up were enthusaistic.  There was also a Bead Bazaar with beads and beadwork not found in the U.S. and two lovely bead exhibits mounted by Rezan Has Muzesi.  I am certainly glad that I got the opportunity to visit this lovely country and learn more about the crafts of Turkey.
Copies of the academic proceedings are available from Kadir Has University.  The cost is $50 a copy plus shipping ($15 to the U.S.).  Tor order a copy, email Simge Celik Atasoy at  Write "Bead Conference Proceedings" in the subject line of the email.

Istanbul Bead and Beadwork Conference

Rezan Has Muzesi

Wordl War I Turkish POW bead crochet snake
One of the examples from our lecture

Meet the Teachers Event
I am chatting with Jamey Allen, one of the academic program chairpersons.

My Bead Crochet Snake Bracelet Class project
This pattern was based on some of the techniques used by Turkish POWs

Seated next to me was Angelica Motzkin.
Angela's jewelry invloves knitting and wirework.

One of the attendees came up with a novel way to
wear the beautiful oya that he bought

The building four our classes. It was so new that
they were still building it!

Here I am with some of my students. I had a great
groups of beaders to teach.

A few our experiences were a ferry ride up the Bosphorus River to a fishing village, a trip to the Spice market, a visit to a glass making factory, touring Topkapi Palace, a pottery demonstration in a ceramic store, and  getting lost in the Grand Bazaar. 

A view from the ferry on the Bosphorus
One of the historical mansions that line the river

The fish restaurant where we had a typical and
delicious Turkish meal.

Wares at the Spice Market. These look good
enough to wear as necklaces.

Firca Ceramic

Pottery demonstration at Ferca Seramik

Cam Ocagi--The Glass Furnace

A glass blowing demonstration at Cami Ocagi.
He is making a whirling dervish.

One of the many beautiful tiles in the Topkapi

Embroidery of pearls and gold displayed at the
Topkapi Palace.

The main corridor of the Grand Bazaar.
Shopping here is not for the claustrophobic.

One of the approximately 4,000 shops
in the Grand Bazaar.

One of my favorite shops in the Grand Bazaar was Deli Kizin Yeri (The Crazy Lady's Place).  Run by an American woman who is now living in Turkey, the shop has a lot of nice Turkish handicrafts, including knit socks, crochet items, and oya.  We can't find the photo we took but you can visit her website. 

The Crazy Lady's Place

After the bead conference, we spent 6 days touring part of Western Turkey, stopping in Izmir, Selcuk, Ephesus, and the seaside town of Bodrum.  Here are a few of the crafts that we discovered.

Boncuk Koy beadmakers

Beadmaking at the Boncuk Koy factory
outside of Izmir

Some of the wares, including evil eye beads,
available for purchase at theBoncuk Koy shop.

Con Kece feltmaker

A traditional feltmaking demonstration at Con
Kece in Tire.

NEED A GUIDE FOR YOUR TRIP TO TURKEY?  Our tour of Western Turkey was led by a lovely Turkish woman named Esra.  If you need a guide, we heartily recommend her for English or Spanish-speaking travellers.  She can be contacted at

Our guide Esra

Thank you for looking.

Questions?  Email me at