The paradox and contradictions in cultural value and exchange worth of Anatolian hand-crafted wool felted textiles
This thesis seeks to explain the development and implementation of a new model, methods and process of practice required for the rejuvenation of hand crafted woolfelted textile making customs and practices of the Anatolian region of Turkey, which mediates tradition in a contemporary context. In progressing the aims of the research project underpinning the thesis it was necessary to undertake both field work, learning the felt makers' practices, and to undertake empirical design-based product trials which provided insights into the culture and creative potential of the felt making activity thus facilitating the development of the new model of practice. Therefore the thesis examines not only the nature and context, both historical and contemporary, of felt makers and felt making practice in Anatolia but also presents ethnographic and theoretical discourse intended to argue and justify the approaches adopted in the development of the new model of practice and a verification process of its effectiveness. The thesis interrelates strands of changing contexts; research record and theory discourse and argues that the new model of practice enables sustainability and displays ethical responsibility appropriate to, and commensurate with, the felt making culture of Anatolia and its traditions. The thesis argues by demonstration that the perception of an object is determined by location and level of consciousness, which can be reflected upon and, through redesign involving aggregation of qualities and values, purposefully represent an object and recreate its lost aura's root from tradition, transposed into a new diversity of perceptual responses. The thesis concludes that mediatory actions implicit in the new model of practice need not adversely impact upon the traditional culture of the makers in terms of lifestyle choices, since reciprocal exchange is a local transaction, which proffers evolving tradition as cultural values to a diversity of external locations and levels of consciousness. This open-ended mediatory action of anonymous hybridisations will continue by the intervention of other designers through evolutionary integration to elevate the status of the culture object and its related craft activity.