Handcrafted in Morocco

Morocco has a rich history of handcrafted art.  Think painstakingly painted, fired, and set tile work called Zellij, hand carved stone and wood in intricately detailed geometrical patterns, handmade leather work and a host of other handcrafted goods.  Morocco is very proud of its tradition of highly skilled artists and it has really made the effort to promote the making and selling of local handcrafted goods in light of cheap tourist goods flooding the market.

I just finished reading "A House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco" by Suzanna Clarke who, in preparation for remodeling a Dar (house) in Fez (and in preparation for the book too I'd imagine) learned about all things Moroccan art and architecture.  The two often go hand in hand.  She worked with local craftsman to try and restore a centuries old house as faithful to the neighborhood and artistic blueprint as possible.  Throughout the book she explores dealing with locals, red tape to high heaven, and the many aspects of Moroccan Architecture and hand-craftmenship (a word I may have made up).  Tahir Shah's "A Year in Casablanca" provided similar insight into the art and architecture found in the region.  

The point is, it's amazing.  I don't think I'll do a very good job at explaining how amazing, so check out these slides about a new Moroccan architecture exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.  You can also read the New York Times Article about it here.  

1 comment:

  1. and you're actually going to get to LIVE surrounded by that! i'm feeling a little bit envious.