By Margaret Sheard ….

We were invited to talk with Feza Aygin Sanivar about her innovative art of paper making and we went along to her home to learn more about Feza and her very original and creative hobby.

When we arrived we were presented with a plate of cinnamon cookies which were shaped as various bronze age statues.  Feza had made a large quantity for the opening ceremony of the Vounous Symposium and so we enjoyed these with a coffee as we settled down to chat.  We were also treated to lovely cupcakes which Feza had also made, not only an artist but a very good cook as well!

I have always admired people who have an artistic talent and we were amazed at what we were shown by Feza, who makes paper from so many different natural items, palm bark, the corn plant leaves, banana tree and her proud achievement of bougainvillea petals, as well as paper and card, which also is a process of recycling household items.

We looked at a huge array of finished items which had the background of Feza’s homemade paper and as an artist of course there were some lovely pictures which she had painted on them, mainly using acrylic paint.  We noticed there were many pictures at various stages which included fish and Feza explained that when she was young her father would take her fishing with him and so this was a subject which is her way of recapturing the wonderful times they spent together many years ago.

Feza was born in Limassol, she is married and has 2 children, twins (boy and girl) who are now 14 years old.  Feza’s husband was also born in Limassol and is an Electrical Contractor.   During the troubles in Cyprus, Feza’s father was severely injured when a bomb exploded behind him and he has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.   In 1975, her mother took Feza and her brother to England and they remained there until 1978 when they returned to Cyprus and made their home in the North.    Her father is still confined to a wheelchair and Feza visits him every morning to make him comfortable before going to her office job at the Teknecik Power Plant.   Feza is a very busy lady and still finds time to enjoy her art and paper making hobby when she returns home, as well as cooking and looking after her family.

Some years ago Feza taught art to children and also had an art gallery but after about 6 years she felt there was not sufficient interest to keep this going, although she feels it is so important to encourage children to take an interest in the world of art and the benefits it will give them as they grow to adulthood.

Another accomplishment of Feza is soap making, which is produced by using part of the silk cocoon with olive oil, coconut oil and then has other ingredients added, such as coffee and chocolate.  Again Feza was the originator of this technique.  We decided that she has a very enquiring and inventive mind, she looks at something and wonders what she can produce from it.

We were so amazed at the wonderful pictures and objects which Feza has produced from natural and recycled materials but there was more to come when we were shown some of Feza’s paintings, what a talented lady she is.     Feza told us that she will be having a 4 day exhibition of her art, both paintings and paper art, with her friend Halide Volkan who will be exhibiting ceramics.   This will be 15th to 18th October at the new Girne Art Gallery.  We wish them both well with their exhibition.

Chris made a short video of Feza in her lovely garden demonstrating her paper making procedure which can be seen below.