Independent Designer of the Week: Kagan Onal

Posted on August 22 2019

Independent Designer of the Week: Kagan Onal

Today, we want to introduce you Kagan Onal. 

After working long years in the advertising industry, Kagan Onal started carpentry. Inspiring from his co-workers making their buns with a pen, he created this hand-carved Japanese hairpin collection. The wooden hair sticks are hand-crafted by Kagan Onal in his carpentry atelier in Kuzguncuk, Istanbul. Each design made from reclaimed timbers: iroko tree, cherry tree, ash tree, oak, padauk, burr, wenge, zebrawood, boxwood, sycamore.

Handcarved Japanese hair pin
Handcarved Japanese hair pin
Handcarved Japanese hair pinHandcarved Japanese hair pin

Why So Special?

The wooden hairpins are hand-crafted by the designer.

Sustainable Design

 Each design made from reclaimed timbers

From where?

Kagan Onal's Atelier is in Kuzguncuk, Istanbul. Kuzguncuk is a lovely neighbourhood in the Üsküdar district on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. Kuzguncuk is centered on a valley opening to the vivid blue Bosphorus with a marvellous view and surrounded by nature preserves. There aren't any franchised stores in Kuzguncuk. Businesses are made by artisans, buildings are old and conversation is sincere and warm…* 

Kuzguncuk plays an important role in the collective consciousness of Istanbullers with its history of peaceful coexistence. For centuries, this eccentric neighbourhood was home to a mix of Jews, Greeks, Armenians and Turks, evidenced by the synagogues, churches and mosques that rise side by side in the traditional and beautiful Kuzguncuk.**

Go from the main street of Kuzguncuk, Icadiye Street and right on your left you will see the Bath Ya’akov Synagogue along with the Ayios Yeorgios Eastern Church. A little bit further on your right stands the Ayios Panteleimon Church. The Armenian community gave up pieces of their land for the Kuzguncuk Mosque, which is next to the Armenian Church Surp Krikor Lusaroviç along the Bosphorus road. Today both places of worship have domes of the same height.*

Historical and colourful streets of Kuzguncuk

Kuzguncuk ferry ride
This is the view you would enjoy if you take a boat trip from Kuzguncuk.

Historical Cemil Molla Mansion Kuzguncuk
If you head for Beylerbeyi from Kuzguncuk, you will confront this phenomenal wooden mansion: Cemil Molla Mansion. The building that was built for Abdülhamid II’s minister of justice, Mahmud Cemil, in 1885 by the Italian architect Alberti combines Eastern and Western architecture. The place used as a center of the arts and became the host of poetry and music nights. The mansion also housed the first telephone, private cinema and photography studio of the Ottoman Empire.*

*Hurriyet Daily News

**Daily Sabah

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