In Conversation: Duygu Çöklü

We met with Duygu Çöklü in her studio in Eskişehir and talked about her handmade ceramics, design processes, and sources of inspiration.

Duygu Çöklü continues her ceramic production in her studio in Eskişehir. We visited her studio to discuss the process behind her much-loved products at OMM Shop as well as her inspirations, dreams, and plans.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the story of Duygu Çöklü Studio?

I don't remember when I first dreamed of having my own brand, but when I was a kid, it was challenging for me to go to school every day, and when I grew up, the idea of working somewhere at designated hours terrified me. I always said to myself that I would have a job where I would decide on my working hours and schedule, and I had decided when I was younger that it would be something related to art and design.

Then I grew up and graduated from the faculty of fine arts, ceramics department. I knew I couldn't do anything else, though the reality hit me hard about how difficult it was to start your own business.

At first, I had studios in different parts of Istanbul. These initiatives came with a lot of experience, good and bad. After a period that I thought I had failed, I opened my current workshop in Eskişehir, which I loved about five years ago, with the help of all my previous experience. I created my brand Duygu Çöklü Studio.

What kind of design and production process do you have?

These processes are simple and clear to me. With the help of my previous experiences, designs often come to my mind before I fall asleep at night. I take detailed notes of them and start working with mud to create them.

So if you were to describe your designs or your sense of aesthetics, how would you do that?

I cannot fit my understanding of design and aesthetics into a mold. It's a never-ending journey full of surprises and unexpected twists and turns. Beauty can come from anywhere. The most beneficial companion of this journey is trying to see beauty by developing different perspectives with an open mind.

In your works, we see references to traditional or mythological symbols and characters such as Shahmaran. Where do you get your inspiration? Do you have a resource you go to when you need inspiration?

I am not a traditional person, but the subject of tradition arouses my curiosity. My favorite subjects are superstitions, mythological stories, and, apart from those, absurd comedies and horror movies with killer dolls. My work is mostly a blend of these.

Let's talk about your future projects. Are there any projects that have not been released yet, a product you want to produce, or a method you want to try? We are also curious about your expectations, plans, and dreams.

There are always new ideas and plans. The thing that keeps me going is this endless enthusiasm to produce and experiment. Currently, I have standard works for my brand that I constantly make. Most of my time is spent creating these items, but apart from these, I have a lot of projects. At every opportunity, I produce a little of this and a little of that to bring these plans to life.

One of the things that excite me the most is my project named "Bon appetit," which I can easily talk about since I've already revealed it before. It's a table composition where I arrange the strange tables representing Turkish food with odd names, such as "belle's lip," "queen's finger," "lady's belly," and "sultan's favorite," revealing their literal meanings. It's a project that I had a lot of fun doing, and at the same time, I take it seriously because it has an important subtext, so it is progressing quite slowly.

I am pretty satisfied with my current job and position. I am happy where I am because I love to take time for myself and be free.

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