Leaves on the branch are alone while falling on the ground. Now, they have met an art lover who brings an end to their loneliness: Nick Merdenyan…
Getting all delicacies of the calligraphy and ornamentation embroidered on dry leaves, he has blown life again to them…
Man wants to touch the green, to have a contact with the green. Green is the nature, life, and vivacity…
We stare at the leaves of the trees so that they can give us some of their
energies, because green leaves represent the energy of continuity.
When we see that the leaves are turning yellow and fading, sadness conquers our inner world…
Green itself is the idea. It is the future idea… the development idea… and Nick Merdenyan has found the energy of continuity in leaves. So to speak, he never wants that the leaves falling off their branch with a warm breeze of the wind go to extinction. He revitalizes drying, fading
leaves with his ideas and designs… Nick Merdenyan has such a powerful
passion for green, integrating with art, that he explored it with a feeling
appearing in his inner world even while he was not aware of it …
Nick Merdenyan, who has been working as the Grand Bazaar tradesman since 1968, breaks off the faded leaves of a houseplant gifted for the baptism ceremony of his son, with a suddenly felt desire, and stores them among book pages. Do not think that he has had this passion for years. Nick says that it was a sudden desire he felt at that moment, at that minute. After a year or two, he sees those two leaves that it had put among the book pages by chance while making a research on a subject in his private library. Those silky leaves in front of him awaken a feeling of excitement in Merdenyan, view of those silky dried leaves in front of him sticks in his mind with an excitement the reason of which he doesn’t know well. He talks about the dried leaves in his house with a calligraphy master who came to his neighbor’s shop in the Grand Bazaar.
He asks that calligraphy master, who is known for its works on different
materials, if he can work on leaves as well. Then they start to discuss what can be done on dried leaves. While discussing what and how it can be done, the idea of applying the art of calligraphy to dried leaves. After a long interval, the calligraphy master embroiders the tugra (sultan’s signature) of Suleyman the Magnificent on one of the leaves, and Yunus Emre’s epigram “Love who loves you” on the other with Cufic letters, and brings the leaves to Nick Merdenyan. The same day an American couple sees the works, likes a lot, and buys them. “I can never forget the expression, the confusion on the face of that American lady. When tugra of Suleyman the Magnificent, with the beauty of which I was not satisfied yet, was sold that day, thus the adventure has started”, says Nick Merdenyan. Nick Merdenyan is a living example of that the life is full of chance events.
Is not the impact of chances on human’s life the most interesting part of
this artistic story of revitalization that started with his son’s baptism
ceremony, developed in the Grand Bazaar, and now has been continuing in greenhouses? Nick Merdenyan carries out a work no example of which has ever seen in any where on the earth.
He has put his works that arouse admiration of those who have seen them within frameworks. “ Merdenyan states that his works gain more an more popularity in our country and abroad each day, and that many of his customers buy them for collection purposes.
Nick Merdenyan performs his initial works by making experiments on leaves. Merdenyan gets the best results from Dieffenbachia and Caladium leaves. “As Dieffenbachia and Caladium that I use do not grow in our country, I was importing them from Holland. Unfortunately, Holland has discontinued the production of the Dieffenbachia sort I used due to some economic reasons. As a result of intense researches I made, now I’ve been obtaining the leaves in the quality I need from a greenhouse in Florida.
”When the work will be started, the leaves that are appropriate for the subject are chosen. These subjects are generally chosen from three great religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Attention is paid that the subjects are love, peace, and tolerance messages from past to our day. Then the leaves are dried until their saps are removed, through a great many of pains and special methods. Never think that this long-term procedure is just a method of “store-and-look-occasionally”. Maybe the most important part of the work is to dry the leaves correctly.
Arrival of the leaves, their drying phases… Merdenyan carries out all these works in his home. “Throughout the whole year, I change the places where they lie in my house at least twice a week. It is very exciting to watch their drying phases, because when each one of them wakes up again, they will be guests in homes in various countries of the world, and continue to disseminate positive energy to the place where they are and to the people there, just like
in their first lives.
To tell the truth, the magic world of leaves influences everyone. Therefore, it is not difficult to guess that Merdenyan has customers from every country. “Some of them find me through my internet website, some by chance, and some others through their friends who know me. It’s really great to share the tolerance and common cultures of three great religions with my customers. This enhances my love to my works”, says Merdenyan, and we find out that he has many subscribed customers. Stating that they call at his shop at least once a month, he says proudly that Merdenyan’s customers include Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and many celebrated families.
Some of my customers buy our works saying that they make a collection. We started our works with the Islamic culture, then added the Christian and Judaic cultures to our collection. It’s a very nice feeling for me to use in our works the beautiful messages of various cultures, share them with peoples of our country and from all over the world, feel the same excitement with them, and to see that, from time to time, they prefer and buy works related to other cultures but their own, showing a great tolerance.
We hope that this star that shines among our traditional arts, which have
disappeared one by one, is handed down to next generations with love. But you should start first... Life is full of chances… One day you happen to pass Merdenyan’s shop in the Grand Bazaar maybe, and you too want to have dreams about the chances of life while looking at a leaf that you hung on the wall of your house…
In such a time when the mass production have risen to the highest point in the heavens, when the handwork has begun to be forgotten, when the winds of war blows everywhere, we say that may never end the love of Nick Merdenyan who embroiders love, peace and friendship messages painstakingly on dried leaves.