Turkotek's Portrait Gallery

This is a collection of photos and brief statements by some of our participants, presented to help introduce themselves to each other. If you would like us to include your photo and/or statement, please send them to Steve Price or Filiberto Boncompagni.

Saul Yale Barodofsky: One of the Turkotek Nine, and chief schlepper at Sun Bow Trading Company, seen seated in his Kazak marriage yurt. For more data and additional propaganda, please see our web site, Sun Bow Trading Company. "We've been outfitting caravans from downtown Charlottesville since 1978."

Filiberto Boncompagni: Born in Florence, Italy. Should be grown-up by now but, as you can see, I still love comics, especially the European ones.

P.S. Every reference to real-life rug dealers is purely casual.

Dennis R. Dodds: Dennis is a well-known collector, author and lecturer and holds two graduate degrees in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Pennsylvania. He was founding American Editor of HALI, currently serves on its Editorial Board and owns MAQAM Gallery. Dennis was recently elected Secretary-General of the ICOC and was honored with the McMullan Award for Scholarship and Stewardship in Islamic Art. Below, Dennis delivers a paper at the Azerbaijan Academy of Art & Architecture in Baku during a Regional ICOC conference.

Donna Endres: In the mid-80s I happened onto the rug scene through an indirect connection with Bogazici University in Istanbul. Took up residence in a Victorian house overlooking Rumeli Hisar and the Bosphorus and started making trips into Anatolia. An inquisitive nature, art background and time to explore led me to an appreciation of Anatolian weaving. From there my interest spiraled to Caucasian, Persian and Central Asian rugs. Back in Texas in 1987 I set up and operated a by-appointment rug showroom until three years ago when I opened a small gallery (Istanbul to Samarkand) in Austin. I still collect, and sell rugs. I've been asked to present a survey course on rugs and carpets in the spring '03 semester at the University of Texas. I attend ACOR and the ICOC.

Richard Friedman: A dilettante of the first order, my studies have ranged from marine biology in the Northwest to art history in Spain.  I collect oriental textiles and Northwest native art.  My career path has led me from the waters of the Pacific where I worked as a commercial fisherman in the seventies to the Northwest where I labored behind a desk for too long in the eighties and back to sea for the past nine years as owner/operator of a sixty foot yacht offering custom charter cruises of Alaska’s inside passage for small groups. The décor of the boat is liberally sprinkled with hand carved native art and hand knotted tribal rugs. I am also an avid outdoor photographer. To see more of my photography there are several photo albums posted on my web site.

In the off season (Alaska is not very frequently visited in the winter) I live in Bellingham, Washington. I spend that time making repairs on the boat, marketing my next season and messing around with wool.  My wife, Nancy, calls my Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon “the camel” for all of the rugs it hauls around.  While she gets frustrated with the space my collections takes up, she will admit that it can be nice to have around when she wants to redecorate a room.  My son, Gabriel, helps with rolling, folding and stacking while his younger brother, Asher, insists on nailing the knot count on every new acquisition. Chinook, our tabby cat has to break in every new piece of textile by falling asleep on it and leaving a few cat hairs behind.

I have been collecting rugs, bags, suzani and other textiles in earnest for only a few years and have much to learn. I am glad of the opportunity to expand my understanding of the subject in this forum.

Elise Sophia Gates: Here I am in my Turkmen hat, scarf & an old painting suit! As a rule I do not wear this thing around the house, it scares my cats.

The painting is called Light Year, and it's a self-portrait of myself at 20. It speaks of a moment on a perfect Colorado afternoon, when my love and I were in the mountains eating cherries and hummed by little brave dazzling sunstruck jewel-birds, and everything seemed to stop for one breathless moment. It was a pivotal moment though I didn't know it then - nothing would ever be the same again. Viet Nam claimed so many beautiful people, hundreds of thousands of lives. . . And my mom died, and I graduated, and got thrown out of the nest once and for all.

But that was still in the future.

I still feel a kinship for birds, for the creatures and glowing bodies of the sky.

And yes the nose is different, I had it "fixed" when I was 27. I was a professional dancer & figured, what the heck. I hated that darn nose! So I was vain and silly. But it was not the first transformation nor would it be the last, although the others have been more difficult and much more internal. Hence all the names! I was called "Jan" then, my original middle name. Now I am Elise, Sophia, Bat-Raven - and still Jan sometimes, to family and very old friends - but not inside. Never again, inside.

I made the painting about a year ago and it belongs to a private collector in California, who loves rugs too, and who has graciously agreed to let me post a picture of it here. Getting the hummingbird to pose was a bit more difficult as you can imagine.

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