The motifs and the aesthetics of the Anatolian Civilizations such as Hittite, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman inspired Gülsen Bükülmez from the beginning when she first started taking wood carving and illumination art courses. These courses were instructed by the individuals like herself who had commited themselves to preserve the rich and authentic patterns and designs of the past Anatolian civilizations. “The motifs got degenerated over the years” she says, At one point, to be close to the origin of the patterns, she took carbon copies of the motifs found on the various Ottoman cemetry head stones and eventually used them on her work. She is a creative lady with an artistic eye who spots design patterns in everyday objects.
Today, her primary interest is in the art of making candles. Years ago, she started experimenting with colors and wax as a hobby in her own kitchen. In those old days, when candle making materials were limited, she recalls searching for one of her favorite dye color “gypsy pink” -inspired by a pinkish sugar candy, roasted chickpeas- in bazaars and shops around İstanbul with no luck. On the way from one candle to thousands, she encountered many discouraging shortages. However, Ms. Bükülmez says these moments ironically made her more creative and inventive. Ideas such as pouring wax into the regular bottles, glasses and yogurt cups, building wooden discs to dip the candles into the cauldron and a rope stretched over her kitchen to cool the wax did indeed help the initial orders to come in from the well established businesses in Istanbul.
Today, she works with recognizable retailers around the globe who truly appreciate the art of making meanigful candles. As a lady who supports design, development, culture, commerce, art and craft, I think she is an inspiring example for all to focus on informative consumerism and inspired retailing. Her talent and accumulation of knowledge and skills about cultural and authentic motifs pour into the moldings of her candles. Every one of them entirely hand-made is displayed beautifully as a piece of art in her own showrooms. The showrooms evoke a sense of being in a museum surrounded by ancient motifs and designs.
With the availability of modern materials such as silicon rubber, Ms. Bükülmez and her team take molds of any size of sculptures and articles and turn them into wonderful pieces of cultural objects. Some examples of the titles of her candles :
Bust of Alexander The Great, 356-323 BC, Archeological Museum, Istanbul.
Broken Marble Piece, Roman Period, Side, Antalya,
From Çatalhöyük Excavations 6000BC, Ankara Anatolian Civilizations Museum,
Ionic Capital B.C 4th century…..