Field Notes ft. Turquoise Mountain Jordan
The Levant is a region that’s rich with cultural heritage and valuable traditional crafts. However, recent events in the region have caused it’s craft enterprise to dwindle and left the youth without a connection to their cultural heritage.
Turquoise Mountain sees the rich value of these craftsmanship, and seeks to preserve the culture and knowledge which we’re now at risk of losing.
Established in 2006 by HRH the Prince of Wales in partnership with the President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, Turquoise Mountain started in Kabul, aiming to preserve and regenerate historic areas and communities with a rich cultural heritage through reviving traditional crafts, creating jobs and instilling a renewed sense of pride. Turquoise Mountain has since restored 150 historic buildings and trained over 6,000 artisans. They have also curated major international exhibitions around the world, from the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
Artisan & Fox is honoured to partner with Turquoise Mountain Jordan to share these extraordinary artisanal goods with our customers.
Turquoise Mountain Jordan works with master artisans from Jordan, Syria and others to support regional traditional craft enterprise. They are training the next generation of masters, and reconnecting thousands of children and families with their cultural heritage. Specialising in inlays and metal work, Turquoise Mountain Jordan creates beautiful and exquisite wooden trays, boxes and homeware. Each piece of work is a testament to the rich heritage of the region, as well as to the innovation of modern-day craftsmen and women.
Learn more about the craftsmanship below.
Square Damascene Box
Handcrafted by Abo Abdo, the Square Damascene Box is inlaid with a wood mosaic composing of natural materials such as walnut, eucalyptus, rosewood, as well as mother of pearl. The Damascene Box is then finished with lettuce oil and has an orange fabric lining on the bottom.
Abo Abdo specializes in wood mosaic inlay from Damascus, Syria where he used to own and run his own workshop, employing around twenty other artisans and apprentices.
After escaping to Jordan from the Syrian conflict, he now works by himself from Amman, Jordan to produce and restore inlaid mosaic objects. Abo Abdo enjoys using different types and colours of wood to form geometric patterns which are used as decorative motifs on a variety of objects, including jewelry boxes, instruments, and furniture.
Copper Bowl Candleholder
The Copper Bowl Candleholder is hand-beaten and skilfully decorated with a custom leaf-like motif before finishing off with a layer of lacquer.
It is an example of traditional metalwork, a highly prized decorative art in the Levant region - the crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa.
This beautiful craftsmanship is a collaborative effort by several artisans working in master artisan Mustafa’s workshop in Amman, Jordan. A Jordanian himself, Mustafa established his business 15 years ago and trained several apprentices in the handling and moulding of metal.
ARABESQUE Walnut Tray
The ARABESQUE Walnut Tray features a mesmerising inlay of tin threads following a geometric Islamic pattern and finished with a lettuce oil lacquer.
This intricate tray is handcrafted by master artisans Moataz and Maher, who are considered to be among the last generation of artisans in the region specialising in inlay.
With the desire to explore new innovative ways to enrich their traditional craft, these master artisans are now experimenting with tin, copper and brass threads as an alternative to the traditional inlay which uses shells.
Artisan & Fox is working to connect artisans across the Levant to global markets, with the dual aim of creating sustainable livelihoods and preserving our shared global heritage.
To learn more about Turquoise Mountain Jordan’s work, click here.