Brass so intricately pierced it could almost be lace. Wood so artfully carved it rivals the finest calligraphy. Tiled patterns so geometrically precise that they look computer-generated.
Our artisans achieve all of these outstanding effects by hand, using techniques they first tried out as boys in their fathers’ workshops, and then honed through ten-year-long apprenticeships until – inshallah – they were declared to be ‘maalem’ or ‘masters’ of their craft.
Now at work in our ateliers, these maalem are the inheritors of a – sadly dwindling – artistic tradition that could only have reached its zenith in Morocco, where centuries of trade and migration have created a uniquely rich culture – Berber and Arabic; Andalusian and French; Islamic and Jewish; Egyptian and Roman; Persian and Ottoman; east and west.
It is a heritage that we at Moroccan Bazaar are proud to have nurtured and preserved for over 70 years, breathing fresh life into these ancient Islamic practices to create the kind of finely detailed interiors – both traditional and contemporary – that can only be achieved by hand.
A lamp-maker from centuries past would find much to recognise in our Marrakech brass atelier.
Timber of all kinds has been transported to and from the port of Tangier for centuries, but today we make sure the best of it – kiln-dried for stability – stays in the city at our specialist woodwork atelier.
In evidence of more recent influences on North African and Middle Eastern culture, we also operate a specialist maillechort (Nickel Silver) atelier in Marrakech.
Mother of Pearl
Among the most beautiful naturally occurring substances on earth, mother of pearl brings a beguiling iridescence to the inlaid furniture made at our woodcraft atelier.
Humans have carved animal bone since prehistoric times, but Morocco is one of the few places where the practice has not only survived – but has evolved to become a sophisticated art form.
There is a saying in Morocco that a piece of wood is not ready for decorative use – whether as a door, ceiling panel or table top – until it has been painted.