Weaving its Magic

Courtesy of Atelier Nihal
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Atelier Nihal is a gem in Marrakesh, Morocco. They are a new design company which has adapted local skills and evolved with the times. Founder Marion Verdier, is known for her tasteful selection of woven textiles, as she works with a playful combination of synthetic leather, wool, taffeta, seed beads, and pearls. Weaves are fashioned into an elegant collection of pillows, handbags, clutches, poufs, and curtains, all manufactured out of her workshop, in the up and coming industrial area of Sidi Ghanem, located in central Marrakesh.

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Design Beyond Borders

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Online we are free and we are able to cross borders. We can take on any nationality, gender or profession. All is possible and all is one. We are able to cross borders and travel wherever we want, but in the old brick and mortar economy we have borders. In this real world we have to pass security checks and passport controls. There are cultural identities and there is a “them and us.”

Having to pass three times in a few hours these control posts on my way to Morocco I realized how outdated this has become.

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Bringing a Bright Future to Blind Artisans

Courtesy of Oussama Rhaleb
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When walking the ancient and modern streets of Morocco, it won't take long before you notice the many people wearing a similar piece of clothing called a djellaba.  It has been traditionally seen for many centuries throughout Arabic speaking countries, and it is basically an ankle length, loose fitting, unisex outer robe with long full sleeves. A contemporary version of this garment was handmade by a cooperative of 50 blind men and women - the Cooperative Des Non Voyants-and was featured at the recent Exposition D'Artisinat in Marrakesh.

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New Blue and White

Museum of Fine Arts
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Blue-and-white ceramics (basically cobalt pigment applied to white clay)have been an international phenomenon for a millennium. Originating in 9th century Mesopotamia and in the Islamic world, then Asia, the tradition moved to Europe and finally to the Americas. Many cultures adapted the style and it became one of the most recognized types of ceramic production in the world. Many of the painted images were narrative, causing information about one culture to pass to another as the artwork was exported from one country to another, from Asia to Europe, for example.

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