The origins of artist Felekşan Onar’s affair with glass goes back to a childhood pastime in her parent’s garage. Sanayi313’s founder Enis Karavil joined the interview at Onar’s Fy-shan Glass Studio located in one of Pera’s historic buildings. Though the captivating interview was brief, it was long and memorable enough for me to get a better idea about these creative minds.

Observing the lion statue from the “Animal Kingdom” collection, Enis Karavil says, “Actually you can see a multitude of colours despite being monochrome. I love this property of glass. It’s transparent. It collects and reflects light. That’s what makes it so intriguing.”

Exposed to heat, glass softens and stretches, making it an easily shaped material. It’s fluid and composed, working with it is like training a child or shaping dough. Following a 15-year out building on a professional career, Felekşan Onar went astray from that path in the name of glass. And she has no intention of going down it again because, let’s face it, everything might end abruptly when you find your way. Isn’t it all about the experiences you have throughout this quest? Glass hardens as it cools down, yet it loses nothing from its elegance and grace. The same could be said for the artist. Onar’s grace and tact behind her reserved demeanour fits so nicely with the delicacy and texture of glass. And when Enis Karavil’s dynamic, natural and creative style is combined with his interest in warm materials, I suddenly find myself standing on a plain of harmony in between two opposing forces.

According to Felekşan Onar the unique texture and designs of the “Cigar” glass ashtrays “offer the user functionality coupled with a different glass experience”.

We are welcomed with some wine and snacks inside a room adorned with sleek glass reflections stylised by Visual Director Irem Tanman. The conversation broadens with the sincere energy of designers, editors and a number of Felekşan Onar’s close friends.

Am I the only one thinking of gifts when the topic is decorative objects, especially considering the season? This is precisely why Felekşan Onar created her “Glassy Treasures” collection developed to decorate office environments and desks. Contemplating on the open office he shares with his colleagues at Sanayi313, Enis Karavil admits to opting for items which have
most meaning to him or those he believes will bring luck. As if to confirm the saying ‘you are the best judge of yourself’ Karavil is one of those people who generally prefers to get gifts for his desk himself. The antique silver retractable tape measure and magnifying glass are two items he takes pleasure from having on his desk. According to Karavil, desks have recently become a technology item. “Instead of having a stunning desk clock, people these days tend to check the time on their computer screens. I think this pace of consumption demands a greater need for unique objects.” In this regard, he thinks Felekşan Onar’s wood-lidded glass box stands out as a special gift. Other striking pieces from the collection include lion and bull statues representing power and leadership, ashtrays of different colours, morphed vases and glass spheres decorated with frog motifs…

The glass box created with the Murano blowing technique reminds Enis Karavil of contradiction: “Combining contrasting materials and the reflective property of glass give the product a different charm”

It’s not easy to find gifts for loved ones. Felekşan Onar points out that she can’t buy an item for someone else if it doesn’t appeal to her. With an eye for detail from his interior design projects, Enis Karavil thinks that this makes you a pickier person when looking for gifts, ultimately seeking items that are special.

According to Karavil, a male – female distinction must be made while looking for gifts. “Women dominate a majority of spaces inside homes which makes it easier to find them gifts. There are two rare spaces which specifically belong to men – their cars and desks. If you ask me, this should be a consideration when buying gifts for men. Something I will never consider as a gift would be items that are worn. I don’t like the idea of compelling something on another person. When you buy an object for example, you are actually providing the other side an alternative. He could have it on his desk, his room or lounge.” As a creator of objects, Felekşan Onar endorses this train of thought, “It’s crucial to provide people that flexibility.”

Ultimately, the topic winds back to material. When Onar asks how Karavil’s passion for glass transpires in his materials of choice, he lets on that interior designers have a soft spot for mixing materials to bring out contrasts. It’s inspiring to discover that Karavil likes to combine glass with bronze, work with wood surfaces and mix different chemicals and materials. This conversation comes across as proof that you need to be hands-on in every profession.

As the interview comes to an end, I’m one of the first to find out that Sanayi313 has started working on a new “Sanayi 313 Home” Collection. Karavil concludes with a few words on Sanayi313’s online and printed publication PAPER – an initiative I’m proud to be a part of: “I’d come to think that our work was forgotten too quickly, kind of left in limbo… PAPER allows us to immortalise what we do and believe in. We decided to publish this magazine to make our creations and the design perspective we advocate more enduring.” As a first-hand witness of this sincere and transparent conversation, I’m reminded how easy and fluid it is to talk about a topic you’re really passionate about. Life just might become simpler if we can manage a degree of transparency like glass.