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Featured Shop: Waen

Mar 20, 2015

by Murat Ozsaltik

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hello! My name is Murat, and I craft geometric terrariums with my partner Asli using the Tiffany stained glass technique. We work in a studio below our home in Istanbul, Turkey, and we’re also parents to our cat, Ned. Our shop is called Waen.

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Waen started in August of 2014 – 172 years after a terrarium was accidentally discovered by English botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward. Although it seems like terrariums have only recently become popular, they were actually designed with increasing intricacy and style and have been widely consumed as a decoration for the home since the Victorian age. Asli is a green thumb architect with a passion for geometry, and she thought of the idea for geometric terrariums back when I was working on my master’s thesis in neuroscience. I made her one as a birthday gift and she loved it, so we decided to make more together.

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Even in the years before we met, Asli and I have always believed in the power of creating something new and unique from scraps, instead of buying what the market offers us. After being introduced by a mutual friend, we fell in love, moved in together, and started dreaming of an efficient and creative life. And that’s exactly what we got when we launched Waen.

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We work in a ground floor studio with a lovely garden, which is an ideal workspace for glass cutting, grinding and soldering. Before we start crafting, we make sketches and models of our geometric forms in order to visualize their final appearance and make sure they have the right angles and correct measurements. Our main inspiration comes from 13 polyhedra listed by Archimedes, which were rediscovered by artists and mathematicians during the Renaissance. We are addicted to complex shapes and their ancient roots!

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To us, knowing our materials and the chemistry behind the process is the key to a perfect product. We love pushing our limits by experimenting with different equipment and techniques. Selling our wares on Etsy allowed us to turn our skills and interests into a lifestyle. We’re proud to be a part of this community, and we love the idea that someone on the other side of the planet is growing a cute little plant in a terrarium that we made. Our goal for the future is to grow at our own pace without losing the small business spirit. We also want to expand our product line, and most importantly, keep working from home.

Follow Waen on Facebook.

All photographs by Waen.

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