Tuesday, March 6, 2012

GLOBAL TREND AT WEST ELM

WEST ELM DISCOVERS MOROCCO
West Elm has gone Global! Beautiful Battani striped rugs, pouffs, metal trays, etc all reminiscent of my travels to Morocco, when I was studying for my Masters in Architecture. Aahhh, the ‘Souq,’ the metal artisans market, an awesome place where craftsmanship and artistry is tied to the history of Fez! The Souq is like a maze with artisans lined up in very small cramped spaces. But really, the first thing I noticed was the noise. Metal chimed as copper artisans tapped away with mallets and chisels, shaping and incising beautiful metal trays, kettles, and pots. Can you hear it? Click West Elm's blog to see some of their travel pics to Morocco.

I have always loved Moroccan metal trays and here they are across the world for purchase in West Elm's stores:

MOROCCAN METAL TRAYS

I totally want one of these trays!

MOROCCAN METAL TRAY SITTING ON  BATTANI RUG
MY RUG FROM MOROCCO

My experience in the Marrakech Medina rug market is unforgettable! A young apprentice approached me and told me he wanted my shiny red gun metal ballpoint pen. Go figure? He offered me one of his rugs in exchange for my pen. What was so commonplace to me, was like gold to him. How could I say, no? So we did the exchange and I ended up bringing home a hand-woven one-of-a-kind rug, rich in color and texture. It now lies in my children’s play room. (See pic below) West Elm traveled with Aid to Artisans discovered and handpicked one-of-a-kind rugs, like mine BELOW, and incorporated them into their line.

MOSAIC MOROCCAN KILIM RUG - INTRICATE WEAVE

BATTANI STRIPED RUGS- TREASURED AS FAMILY HEIRHOOMS


POUFS USING BATTANI STRIPE HAND-LOOMED CLOTH

MOROCCAN WEDDING BLANKET

The handmade lamb wool wedding blanket is stunning in person! Apparently blessed for Berber brides! If you plan a trip to Fez, the dyers market hasn't changed in hundreds of years. Talk about clearing your sinuses: tanners still stand knee deep in pits of cow urine, pigeon poo and other chemicals to clean leather hides, cure and dye them. We all held mint under our noseS to dampen the smell. From above, the beauty of these colored vats are actually as breathtaking as the stench below. The pic shows the kaleidoscope of color from vat to vat holding the different colored dyes. The hides supply the large market of leather goods in the market: belts, jackets, bags, poffes, drums and lanterns.


TANNERY



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