Morocco | More Amazing Artisans in Fez

It is no small comfort that even in this 21st century fast-paced immediate gratification world, there are still those who practice skills that require infinite patience and sometimes a life time of training.  In addition to the artisans profiled in my previous post, we saw masters of other crafts producing exquisite works.

Zouaq

Ceilings, walls and doors are adorned with Zouaq, traditional Moroccan painting that uses geometric and biomorphic motifs.

WoodWorker Patterns_
Stencils and Some Completed Panels
Palais Glaoui Doorway with Siham
Doors such as these are plentiful in Fez

Plaster Work

Intricately carved moldings, window screens and balconies grace many of the buildings in Fez. We were lucky to peek inside a riad in the medina undergoing major renovations.

Work in Progress
Supplies and Work in Progress
Fez Dar Renovations 2
Some of the Completed Plaster Work .

Artisans from Fez created plaster work like this at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City (you can see them at work here).

Metal Work

Metalworker square largeWe took a break for a refreshing mint tea and watched the world pass by on Place Seffarine accompanied by the sound of artisans hammering intricate designs on brass.

Leather Work

No trip to Fez would be complete without visiting a tannery. The distinctive smell can be overwhelming, so visitors are given some sprigs of lightly crushed mint.

Hides on Alley to Tannery
Hides line the street leading to Chouara

We visited Chouara, newly re-opened after extensive renovations (the largest of the three tanneries in Fez, it dates to the 11th century). Animal hides are prepared by soaking in limestone vats of water, cow urine, pigeon excrement and quick lime, beaten to a pulp by hand and foot before being colored with all-natural dyes.

Tannery Overview

I had high hopes of multi-colored vats, but all the hides were yellow dyed with saffron  – considered the most valued and traditionally used to babouche, the locals’ preferred footwear.

Weaving

Weaver_

Our last stop of the day was  where Tijanni weavers where generations have woven textiles on foot-powered looms.

All in all, a veritable feast for the eyes and the soul.  Next up: the culinary delights of Fez. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Morocco | More Amazing Artisans in Fez

  1. This is great – I had no idea that Morocco had such a vast array of traditional crafts, and it’s brilliant to see artisans able to make a living by keeping these skills alive! Were you able to book a dedicated craft tour as part of your trip?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your Blog. So many fascinating trips and adventures in less traveled places. You even had the real Moroccan mint tea! The colors and crafts from your pictures of Morocco are magnificent. Thank you for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s