Ten days of inspiration was just what the doctor ordered. Taking some time out of my busy life of running a business, designing, producing, and working with individual clients to get inspired. What better place to go than MOROCCO? Embarking on a ten day journey through the mountains, the dessert lands, tiny villages, meeting along the way a variety of trades-men and women. From copper filigree work, to ceramic mosaics, hand painted pottery to looms, inspiration was everywhere. While it may take some time to create a full collection of Moroccan-inspired pieces, I have chosen a few pieces to feature this month that embody the feeling of Morocco. See those pieces on my main website.
Upon my arrival, I wrote to the staff at the studio the following:
Arriving in Paz seems so different but familiar. The local Berber culture is still alive, as the original inhabitants of Morocco and since then have there has been a mixture over the years of various Arab tribes as well as some Spanish people. The Berber people however go back thousands of years of living on the land. It feels like strong roots and a sense of tribalism along with a deep connection to nature. Shepherds of various ages and a spectrum of colors fill the landscape along with loads of donkeys. Despite the intensity of the smells and array of colors, everything is clean and pure.”
There are so many different ways that the people express themselves; in carpets, clothing, jewelry, ceramics, sculpture, painting, carving, and calligraphy. They even hold an international art festival once a year to showcase all their talent. Berbers are the indigenous people and still make up the bulk of the population, although they have been largely Arabized. Apparently, Morocco is home to more than 20,000 sub-Saharan African immigrants. Morocco’s once prominent Jewish minority has decreased significantly since its peak of 265,000 in 1948, declining to around 5,500 today. There is a prominent Moroccan community currently living in Israel. Suddenly being there, I could feel and see how the influences are around me every day in my daily life and how much our cultures overlap.
In ten days, I visited the following places; Casablanca, Rabat, Chefchaouene, Meknes, Fes, Volubils, Moulay idris, Ifran, Midelt, Erfoud, Rissani, Merzuuga, Dades, and Marrakech.
So now, back from Morocco and the jewelry is in my veins! See the Morocco inspired additions now online. You will find and assortment of bangles, earrings, and rings, all with an oriental flair. While I create a new collection a few times a year, I try to integrates new pieces constantly, especially when the inspiration hits! Some of my favorite pieces are ones that I create for individual clients or find a special inspiration like I did in Morocco.
Photos and videos that I took of local artists that caught my eye
Handcrafted Moroccan Woven Baskets