Every year I go to the djailoo,the Kyrgyz alps, to stay in a yurt for a couple of days. Yurts are the felted houses of the Turkish speaking tribes from Central Asia.
My yurt is always at the same family in Kyrgyzstan. Once I slept in a yurt in Uzbekistan, in the middle of no where. The trip was organized by a travel agency. The yurt was beautiful clean and everything, but it didn’t belong to a family. A couple of man working for the agency lived in these yurts. After sunset they had great fun with each other and their vodka drinks. That’s ok when you are traveling in a group, but I was alone and the door of my yurt, as all yurt doors couldn’t be closed. I didn’t sleep well that night.
The shape of a yurt is like the view on the world of the animistic believing tribes. The dome shaped sky en the round flat world.
The round fence has been made of bent twigs. The sticks are tied together with leather, no iron is used in the yurt.
The top of the round dome is open to release the smoke from the fireplace. It is called Tündük. Around the fence the Chii is stretched , it is a mat made of reeds. Sometimes beautiful patterns of wool are woven into the reeds. The threshold is closed by a thick felt door. The outer side of the tent is covered with thick felt, a good protection against the rain and wind.
Inside the women section is at the right, with the kitchen. On the left side we see the garment for cattle breeding and hunting, the section of the man. Opposite the entrance all kind of textiles like carpets, felt rugs, quilts are piled on trunks. The place in front of the trunks is also the place of honor , the place for guests to be seated.
Several felt rugs are put on the floor in the yurt. And of course we have to take our shoes of..
More info on Shirdak, can be read in my blogs about shyrdak felt rugs
Staying in a yurt is very nice experience, the sound in a yurt is because of the textiles soft and the atmosphere is cozy.
For Autumn, we, at Shirdak have some really nice exhibitions in our planning.
From Saturday October 6th until Saturday December 8th 2012 our artist in residence Dagmar Binder presents her new serie of 3 dimensional structural wall hangings and felt objects with the title:
Dagmar Binder: Combining painting with colored fibers, seamless 3D felting and other textile techniques, I’m exploring the expressive and sculptural potential of felt.
Fibers under tension naturally tend to take organic shapes, reflecting details of nature but develop their very particular physical presence in space and light. I see them mostly as poetic installations.
For years we sell Dagmar Binder’s beautiful scarves and hats .Her great felting technic, sense of color and new shapes are always a surprise and brings you back into memories of nature.