Aysen Savcı studied Industrial Engineering at the Middle East Technical University. “Back then Industrial Engineering was not a classical discipline, but a fairly new discipline” says Aysen. After school she worked at Ericsson, later she joined the Swedish Trade Council as the Trade Commissioner of Sweden to Turkey and still further she worked in Sweden as the Vice President of the Council in promoting the international trade of Sweden.
“Though I quite enjoyed working life and I was satisfied with my job, I always felt like I needed to create something with my hands” says Aysen. “My friends didn’t think much of this passion of mine, since it was open to speculation what I could be doing with my hands, since I couldn’t even find the time to cook!” She further comments. I was one of those friends to convince her to go back to the corporate world. “I want to do something with my hands” was too much of a travel to unknown fields in my eyes. After wholeheartedly listening to her over lunch, I understood that she was talking about a talent that she believes she has that passed to her through DNA or by an unknown karma. I was convinced that she should try it. This was in 2013. And I was sure that she can surely find out a path to a second or even a third career after the corporate world and foreign mission to be reborn as an artist.
Now, Aysen is a glass artist!
She works with artistic techniques on enameling and kiln forming glass. She attended workshops with prominent Turkish and international artists that included different kiln casting techniques. Now, she owns kilns and opened her atelier: www.studiovolcano.com
The technique called “kiln casting” is based on ancient glass forming techniques and was adopted and modernized by art nouveau artists. The technique mostly requires exquisite craftsmanship and expertise. With the technique, the transparency of the glass is a bit lost, but it creates wonderful results that reflect the light in a mysterious and icy way, which is also a beautiful way.
“Glass is my passion! This is my second life. For most of us, it’s a very humane feeling to listen to our inner voice, to make use of our life experiences, and to create or produce something that makes us happy. And I’m going after that feeling” says Aysen.
When you talk about contemporary art in Turkey, glass isn’t one of the first materials that comes into one’s mind, as it is mainly used for creating more functional design objects. However, in Sweden, where she lived and worked for many yers, glass is mostly considered a valuable material for contemporary art. Working with glass has many challenges. Ayşen says that “you can even say that glass is a capricious material. But, at the same time, glass provides a unique opportunity with its capacity for innumerable combinations of color and form.” Its dimensionality and transparency further add to the value and the work becomes a piece of art that comes to creation. As an artist her wish to express her feelings through her creations are evidently very clear. She makes good use of the mysterious light reflected by the glass, the visual movement, texture and the depth of multi-layering of glass in three dimensions to give an identity to her unique creations. In short, she is trying to bring out the soul of glass as a reflection of her own conscience.
The name of her atelier “Studio Volcano” is quite challenging name and gives the impression of action, and even a huge action of the earth. When I inquired about it, I learned about her career path decision. When she was 50 years of age, the volcano Eyjafjallajökull had erupted in Iceland. The whole air traffic was hindered, and she was stuck in Stockholm where she was working at the time. It was around that time that she decided to pursue her dream. Further, the natural state of glass comes into existence only with volcanic activities. The name of her studio comes out from nothing other than this volcanic eruption.
She creates lovely three-dimensional effects by using the transparency of the glass by utilizing open moulds. She describes this as painting with colors in three dimensions inside the glass.
Aysen creates her sculptures in glass by making use of a long and complicated process. In this kiln casting process glass is melted and cooled down in kilns through heat resistant moulds which can be used only once. Every piece is unique. She also uses glass like a canvas where she creates three dimensional paintings.
Finished glass works arouse admiration for most people. But, these works require quite great deal of effort and expenses. It sometimes takes months to finalize a work. She first makes the heat resistant moulds where glass is first melted and then cooled down in kilns, which requires a long and complicated process. She initially prepares her model in clay and after preparing a silicon mould, she obtains the model in wax. Only after that she can prepare a mould that can go into the kiln. She melts the wax out of the mould and place the raw glass into it. She arranges a firing program to the kiln that takes into consideration the properties and thickness of the glass used. After the design cools down properly, she breaks the mould and takes out the glass sculpture. This whole process surely makes each work unique. When I learned about the process, I wondered if her industrial engineering background had any impact on her courage to undertaking such a complicated process to express her vision in the form of art. But the output is surely worth the effort.
She also combines her glass pieces with natural stones, which is also unique and earthy touch she has created for her work. She says “I mostly create sculptures by combining glass and natural stones. I once created a series using the image of hands and natural stones. I also have works influenced by my Mediterranean heritage in terms of nature of this geography and cultural history: Gods, goddesses, sea” – all of these are represented in her glass designs. In my eyes, the hand resembles her offer and the earth is the connection to the earth or to the big earth which is the world.
She comments that “In my work one can see the influence of past events that left a mark in my memory and the current events that are happening in the geography that we live. I try to convey my feelings and thoughts about the things happening around us from different perspectives. Rather than the events or the situations themselves, my work represent the impressions and feelings evoked by them. I am very much concerned about the women issues, diversity issues and human feelings.” All of these are visible in her creations.
During her latest solo show at GaleriDeniz, she exhibited a series of work which were related to what is happening to people in our world, and especially in our part of the world, which was going through very tough times with terror attacks, even wars. People are obliged to leave their homes, losing their hopes and people screaming for a better life and their wish to get out of poverty and hard times are all subjects of her work.
She also has women in her works. She had an exhibition named ‘Being a Woman’ at Art & Life Gallery in May 2016. She touched on notion of woman and the meaning of being a woman; “Women have life-giving energy. Sometimes women are forced to marry very young and feel hopeless.Sometimes they fall in love and still find themselves in a hopeless situation or even sometimes in a loop where they cannot get out of. Sometimes we hold on to the nature, sometimes we have no place to go with our baby in our arms. But, we never run out of hope and hold the strength we need to rule. The saddest thing occurs when we ask ourselves “What kind of a world is this?” and we feel ashamed of our humanity. Nevertheless, when one side of us is broken apart, the other side know how to stand up and to be born from our ashes. Our work is never quite finished; there’s always something to be done. We have windows through which we can glimpse, but we also have chains. We’re women, and surely one day we’ll fly free.”
She also has drawings and paintings. “Drawing and painting can be done at anytime and anywhere, providing a possibility to express many things even with a simple charcoal” she says. She likes painting the people and life that make an impression on her during her travels. All the interesting people that she had met during her travels, all the beautiful places that she had seen and all the challenges that she lived through that made an impression on her found their way out through her work of art.
In quite short time she succeeded in realizing to showcase her glass sculptures in around 15 solo and gro
up exhibitions and art fairs. Her work can be found in selected private collections in London, NY, Amsterdam, Sydney, Chicago, Stockholm, Gothenburg Milano, Athens, and Istanbul, Ankara and Bursa. I also have a very beautiful piece in my home.
Aysen Savcı has received several exhibition invitations. She was in Rome in April and she is expected to be in Paris in October. She also received a key invitation to take part in an official part of the 2019 Venice Art Biennale. This is a great honor for any artist. To my recollection only few artists got an invitation from Venice Art Biennale with such an area allowance.
Her artwork is expected to be placed in a 7 sqm dedicated room in the prestigious Plazzo Bembo in the centre of Venice during the 2019 Venice Art Biennale from May 2019 to November 2019. She has already planned her work which will be called “COEXISTENCE”. Consistence, as well as diversity, is the new international value that we must all agree to see and live with. Her plan is that she shall create 192 pieces of art for display.
This invitation has costs attached to it for Aysen.
It is at the same time great sponsorship opportunity for the companies or for people with passion to support artists like Aysen. It carries a social responsibility aspect, an artistic eye and already has potential to be international well-known artist from this soil.
Her work has not only art, science and production dimensions, but also it is careful project to carry the glass work internationally. If she can find the sponsorship or buyers in advance for her work for Venice Art Biennale, she is also expected to showcase her art work in Balkans, Europe and Africa. It will be great gateway that we have an internationally recognized glass artist – Aysen Savcı. That is, it is not pure sponsorship, but the sponsors will have the opportunity to own the artwork. Please inquire with Aysen at firstname.lastname@example.org what you can do about supporting her in this great undertaking she has in front of her!