Kyrgyz material culture was a project between Art Group Tumar and Liz Ciokajlo, facilitated by Liliya Serazetdinova funds granted by The British Council and Arts Council England Artist’s International Development Fund.

The Aim of the Project…

was to learn about traditional Kyrgyz nomadic material culture and to share UK approaches to footwear design. On the trip we explored and developed a new prototype of footwear made from felt informed by traditional felt manufacturing methods used in Kyrgyzstan for contemporary design and performance requirements in Western Europe. I was taught traditional craft techniques,  felted prototypes at the production facilities in Bishkek, traveled to the villages where traditional sherdaks are made, soaked up the culture in museums, on the Silk Road and Kyrgyz day to day life.


Tumar host were amazing, talented and their products are of the highest quality. The founders of Tumar and people working there are talented, hard working, warm, intelligent and they have a wicked sense of humour. Liliya organised the trip and was great. She is a bio renewable scientist from Kazakhstan with intrest seeing traditional Central Asia’s knowledge inform bio renewables development.

On Reflection…

I have migrated blog post from another site to my own website so in writing this in 2017 can reflect on the outcomes of the project better. The aim of the Artist International Fund is to share knowledge for artist’s development. It is not about artefact output really. In this way the fund had a profound effect on my work. In the West we often forget to remember cultures who have histories which enable them to remember how we use our material resources in the circle of life. Nomadic Manufacturing will permeate my approaches in future career projects. It was a fantastic experience in which I have fond memories. I hope you enjoy what I have to share.

petroglyph on Silk Road up close and personal