My artistic side has developed from very early childhood. I was born in a village in Antakya – Turkey and learned/practised wood carving first with the help of local masters at early age. Wood, as a material from the heart of nature, has always been a source of inspiration together with its mythological importance throughout the ages and across the cultures. My designs and the type of wood used to create my art are inseparable. I never paint or add any artificial features to my wood relief sculptures and mirrors. They always preserve their natural appearance, instead I choose the type of wood, carefully selecting the grains, lines of wood, and it’s natural colour. The only treatment used on my wood carved artwork is varnish for the protection of the wood surface. I like working hard in my workshop days and nights, forming, shaping the wood, all by hand.
The bulk of Linden and Hornbeam trees are seasoned and stored: Linden for up to fifteen years and Hornbeam stored for three years). It was cut and taken from the region of Thrace in the Istranca Mountains. The wood statue was carved at my workshop in the Istranca Mountains. There is no varnish on. Instead, linseed oil and shellac was applied.
My dream is to construct an artfarm to gather fellow artists from all around the world and enjoy artistic activities in collaboration. Well, I am not too far away. In Catalca, a cosy, forest village in Edirne, I carry on with wood carving in the workshop I designed and constructed. In a few years time, I am hoping to finish the project. I display my all artwork in my studio in Istanbul. You will always receive a warm welcome from me to see my work and a cup of Turkish tea if you ever visit Istanbul. Enjoy the work here.
~ Ayhan Tomak