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Since we launched our website, quite some people have been asking us about the meaning of Kaplum. It comes from the Turkish word for turtle, kaplumbağa. Alper grew up in Turkey. When he was twenty-six he left Turkey to study art in Amsterdam. For two years we were in the same class, even working in adjoining studios, but beside a few words we never actually talked to each other. Three years after graduating we met again at an exhibition where some of my drawings were displayed. We sat on a window-sill and talked for quite a while. Suddenly Alper asked me why I didn’t wear my necklace with the turtle anymore. ‘It was black with orange right?’ he said. I was of course quite impressed he remembered such a tiny detail and told him I replaced it with a necklace belonging to my late grandmother. Years later our son was laying on his belly on Alpers chest, lifting up his head like a little turtle.

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We are currently working on our very first wooden toy project Forest on Wheels. This will be a series of five separate forest animals on wheels: a rabbit, a wood mouse, a hedgehog, an owl and a squirrel. After successfully finishing this series, we will continue with Farm on Wheels and Savanne on Wheels.

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I am part of a foundation called Broedplaats Fenix. Within this foundation a wide range of creative people work on their craft, trying to build their own business or improving their already existing business. We even have a catering kitchen in the building now.

In the beginning of January we had to move out of our old studio, based in an industrial area in Amsterdam. It was a nice space, but really cold. This month we are setting up a new studio space in Diemen, a town southeast of Amsterdam. We have moved into a big, spacious warehouse. It used to belong to a company producing glasses for optical use. In the former studio I shared the space with an old friend; Taro. Now I collaborate with two other guys mostly focused on woodwork.

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