Morocco, je t’aime

Several years ago, I traveled to Morocco and it made a profound impact on my life.  It was a “wow!” moment for me.  It was everything I hoped it would be and more.

It’s so different than anything I’d ever seen, most notably, the architecture. Morocco is an Islamic country and in Islam, it is believed that making things beautiful brings one closer to God. The tile work on buildings, the intricate patterns hand painted on to everyday items such as plates and cups, the brightly painted buildings. Special attention is given to ceilings because it’s closer to God. The thing that makes it even more special to me is that most of it is still crafted by hand.

While I do have great appreciation for modernism, I also love lots of colour and embellishment.

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Hand of Fatima

It’s named for one of Prophet Muhammad’s daughters. It represents patience, loyalty, faith, persistence, good luck and most importantly, protection from the “evil eye”.

I first encountered this when I noticed the necklace a former co-worker wore. She told me she got it in Beirut where her family is from. Shortly thereafter, I took a trip to Morocco and saw the symbol everywhere; mostly as decoration on doors and it’s also given as a gift when a baby is born. And of course I had to get a few things to commemorate my trip.

Hand of Fatima spoon rest & pendant purchased in Morocco

Hand of Fatima spoon rest & pendant purchased in Morocco

This is first piece I made in my metalsmithing class. It’s made from sterling silver wires soldered together and an abalone stone. It certainly took a lot of patience and persistence to complete it.

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Hand of Fatima – my first metalsmithing project

I designed this tattoo for myself exactly 1 year after my trip to Morocco.

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I encourage you to visit Morocco, it’s a magical place. You won’t be disappointed.

My Inspiration

I had a little trouble writing this week’s post. I wasn’t feeling well and I have a lot stress in my life right now. Didn’t feel like being grateful or even getting out of bed until I came across this photo and it became clear that I needed to get off my ass.

Donar Reiskoffer, the copyright holder of this work via Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

Spice market in Morocco

This picture reminded me of my trip to Morocco (more on that in an upcoming post). But more importantly, it’s the inspiration for the name of my jewelry business, Baharat Jewels – Spice Up Your Style. Baharat is the Arabic word for spice. My jewelry is inspired by colors and textures of Middle Eastern, Islamic and SE Asian cultures.

Once I had the concept, my extremely talented graphic designer, Nicole Marshall helped translate my vision into reality by creating this logo. It’s been at least 6 months since this was created and I’m still sooo excited about it! I have to remember this feeling when I’m down and feeling like my work is in vain. Ok, I’m too excited to keep writing – gonna get to work!

Baharat Jewels logo