The Art of Craftsmanship with Avedis Kendir
A craftsman leaving a mark in stone and time, Avedis Kendir shares his exceptional journey in jewelry and the key points of his craftsmanship.
When did your interest in jewelry begin?
I was born in Istanbul, Beyoğlu in 1959 as the youngest of three children. My father was a fine woodworker, and my mother was a housewife. My education began in the Anarat Hığutyun Primary School in our district. After primary school, I started my adventure at my second school, the Grand Bazaar. I have pursued a passionate interest in handicrafts at a young age.
During the summer holidays, I enjoyed working across various professions in the workshops in our district. At the same time, I was drawn to handicrafts because my father was a woodworker. Then, I started to work in jewelry workshops and stepped into the bright and colorful world to learn what this glittering world offers and how these fine pieces are expertly crafted. Now, I have been in this profession for 50 years. My adventure started in 1969 with my master Matyos Şinorkay and still continues with great excitement.
What do you think is the key point of craftsmanship? When does a person turn into a fine craftsman or an artist?
The act of creating becomes a craft when you learn about a traditional culture from the masters, and then it becomes an art when you add your own spirit and interpretation. If you have a universal perspective and continue to develop it yourself, then you move from being a craftsman to being an artist. In my opinion, integrating this with my own art by being a good observer and following the art movements in the world is the key point of this job for me.
Do you think that geography and culture have an impact on craftsmanship?
One of the best gifts of our geography is that we live in a living museum, in terms of history, culture, and nature. The texture of the city is defined by traditional and cosmopolitan lifestyles, the fact that the three holy religions are in the same land, and the blending of the modern and the new. Since we live in an extraordinary geographical location in Istanbul, we should make the most of this chance.