Mehmet Girgiç was born in Konya in 1953. He began making felt with his grandfather in 1966, which was his father and uncle’s profession. In 1987 Mehmet Girgiç had renovated all the sikkes (the felt hat for the whirling dervish) in the collection of Mevlana Museum. He has invited many foreign groups to his felt workshop and taught how to make felt. The first group came in 1996. He has had numerous workshops and participated in many exhibitions in Turkey and abroad. He was also interviewed and has published reportage in many magazines and newspapers such as HALI, ETN and Hürriyet news papers. In 2010, Girgiç was awarded as one of the seven Turkish Living Treasures by UNESCO and the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He continues to craft both traditional and contemporary felt work in his Istanbul studio "Ikonium Studio," which is located in Sultanahmet. He also provides felt workshops as well as hand-dyed materials for felt makers.
Activities, workshops and exhibitions:
1997, Had a workshop in Universitat Osnabruk, Germany.
1997-2000, Participated in a handcraft exhibition “Art in Action” and demonstrated felt making in UK.
2000, Invited German group and had a workshop with a felt maker, Claudia Gemein in Konya.
2001, Went to USA and had several workshops.
2002, Participated in the exhibition “Ankara Provinces Fair” and received a Letter of Appreciation.
2003, Reproduced the French Aubusson Carpet dated 19th century in the Hyde Collection.
2003, Participated in the first World Conference on Handmade Carpets in New Delhi, India (4-5 November).
2004, Had a workshop at the Lincoln University of Missouri and the Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh, USA.
2004, Reproduced a second French Aubusson Carpet in the Hyde Collection.
2005, Had an exhibition and demonstration at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Festival, New Mexico, USA.
2005, Had a workshop and lectured at the Surface Design Association, Kansas City, USA.
2005, Gave a conference at Kent State University, Ohio, USA
2005, Received a prize from Antalya Olympos Rotary Club.
2005, Had a workshop in Konya to a group which was organized by ETN conference.
2006, Received an award and had an exhibition at the Wayne State University in Detroit, USA.
2006, Had a workshop of Natural Dyeing in the Woods cape Artistry, New York, USA.
2006, Had an exhibition and demonstration at the Folk Art and Handcrafts Fair which was held by Febrarp / UNESCO in Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil.
2006, Had a workshop at RMIT University, Australia.
2007 July, Had a workshop at the New England Felting Supply in Easthampton, Massachusetts, USA.
2007, Had a Felt, Carpet & Kilim Exhibition at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, USA.
2007, Artists in Residence / Teacher Workshop at Hempsfield High School, Pennsylvania USA.
2007, Had a workshop on the making technique of Ottoman Nat Dye with Theresa May O’Brien at Miss Bab’s Hand Dyed Fiber Studio in Mt. City (Tennessee), Urrango Fiber Works, Durrango (Colorado) and Natural Dye Studio in Longmont (Colorado).
2007, Had a Felt Exhibition “Felt as Art” with Theresa May-O’Brien at the Gallery 51 in Philadelphia, USA.
2007 November, Had a felt demonstration in Çatalhöyük on the occasion of the visiting of Prince Charles.
2007 November, Participated in a Trade Fair in London.
2008, Had a slideshow conference at the Philadelphia Rug Society (Philadelphia), Hajji Baba Society (NY) and George Mason University (Washington DC), USA.
2008, Had a natural dyeing workshop and made mosaic felt at Private Fiber Studio (Washington DC) and Hempfield High School (Pennsylvania).
2008 June, Had a workshop to a Dutch group in Konya.
2008 August, Participated in the Handcraft Festival, “Altın Eller” in Istanbul.