Feature: Turkish designer gives natural touches to jewelry

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 9, 2021
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by Zeynep Cermen

ISTANBUL, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Several magnolia flower cones and sweetgum tree cones, some maple leaves and linden buds, and a couple of plane tree fruits were among the stuff a young Turkish jewelry designer collected from a park in central Istanbul.

"The sweetgum cone is something that I have met for the first time, and I will see how I will use it in my designs," Gizem Gul Tasci told Xinhua at the Macka park in the busiest Besiktas district.

"I also like the color and velvety texture of magnolia flower cones. My other favorite is the fruit of plane trees. It has a pleated look," Tasci said while curiously examining the elements that she picked up for her designs.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced her to leave her corporate job. From September onward, she has been purely dedicated to designing earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, all made of natural elements.

She goes out to parks across the city several times a week to collect the materials she needs, and then the processing period begins, which she describes as "very labor-intensive work."

Tasci has been using her social media accounts to introduce her designs and conduct all the transactions, including getting orders, arranging shipments, and receiving payments.

She also uses some other online trading platforms, which act as mediators between consumers and producers, working with a commission-based model.

The price of her most expensive piece is 65 Turkish liras (about 9.17 U.S. dollars), a necklace made of horse chestnut. But after extracting the cargo and commission fees, she can only earn 50 liras.

"I give meaning to all my designs. All the ingredients are very healing for me, and I want to convey these feelings to others through them," she explained the spirit behind her works.

In Tasci's view, people are seeking more original and natural tailor-made products in the market.

"We are all very bored from everything being so fabricated, and people started to value such natural things more," she said, noting that ecologically sustainable products is gaining popularity.

Instead of paying a fortune for a piece of jewelry, which has thousands of copies, people prefer to own something unique, the designer noted.

At the end of each season, she donates 5 percent of her earnings to non-governmental organizations working to protect the environment as a symbolic support.

But starting from the beginning of this year, things began to be more challenging for her, as shipment prices and commission fees have increased significantly.

"Still, I am trying to keep the prices at an affordable level," Tasci said, adding that she can only afford to meet her grocery expenses with the revenue from her sales.

"Today, I came across the smallest linden bud that I have ever seen in my life," she continued, scanning the ground of the park. "It is a durable material and dry, and therefore, much more useful for me as I do not use any chemicals or what so ever." Enditem

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