Themed semester event touches on textiles


Terri-Lynn Frasher/ The Chart

Art installation by senior art major, Sandra Conrad displayed earlier this fall shows prime examples of the textiles that will be presented at another Turkey themed event on Nov. 2.

The history of Turkish textiles is as rich and colorful as the silks and rugs that will be on display at Cornell Auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 2 beginning at 9:30 a.m.; one of the few remaining themed semester events.

The Silk Road Ends Here and To Knot or Not to Knot demonstrate the expertise of Carla Tilghman on the subject of Turkish textiles.

Tilghman, has earned degrees in art history and studio arts. She currently teaches at Washburn University and the University of Kansas.

She developed a love for Turkey while an undergraduate student.

“I did two summers there,” said Tilghman. “The first summer I was with a group that was studying Turkish dance … I spent more time that second trip exploring Turkish textiles.”

The Turkey semester booklet describes the 9:30 event as one that will explore the routes, the dangers on the way and the amazing goods that flowed into Turkey over the famous Silk Road from Western China.

“It was just such an interesting historical crossroads where lot and lots of things just kind of swirled together,” said Tilghman. “Certainly silk wasn’t the only thing that was transported, but that’s my interest and so I’m going to focus on that.”

The 11 a.m. session will explore the patterns and techniques of Turkish carpet making and demonstrate regional motifs and methods. There will be a knot tying exhibition with an opportunity for hands-on audience participation ‘to really get a feel’ for the materials.

“I have a little tapestry rim that I’m setting up to show a couple different kinds of knots that were used to create what we think of as the Turkish carpet.” Tilghman said. “I’m going to have a demo of those different techniques and then people can try them and play with those. I think when you start tying those knots you really get a feel for how complex and time consuming those carpets are to make.”

Tilghman grew up in Kansas and feels fortunate that she chose a small undergraduate school in the Midwest that like Missouri Southern offers great study abroad programs.

“Because I encountered Turkey as a college student, I would say to undergraduate and college students ‘man go study abroad’ or just go abroad because it’s such a transformative experience,” she said. “I’m still in touch with people I met there. It opens your eyes and the experience of coming back home again and seeing your country from a different perspective … every little detail is different.