Given my love for saturated colour, what better place to find interior design inspiration than in Marrakech?
I packed light intending to do some shopping in Morocco. Not light enough. We still ended up bringing home an extra bag, jammed carry-ons and luggage that pushed the limits of the weight allowances. Going to North Africa was a little out of our comfort zone, but it was incredible. I hope I will get the chance to go back again one day. The people are open and friendly and the spirit of craftsmanship is alive and well in Morocco.
Actually, I was blown away by the incredible craftsmanship of the local people. We visited leather tanneries, weaving workships, woodworkers (who used very simple hand run lathes to great effect) and had an opportunity to explore the souks (markets) in both Marrakech and Chefchaouen. If you go there, as I did, thinking that you can handle yourself in a bargaining situation, you are in for a rude awakening. We don't stand a chance. I had no intention of buying a rug in Morocco, and we came home with four. No regrets. They are incredible pieces of workmanship, and this one was left behind. I am still wondering if I should get in touch with the shop and have it shipped out. The shop owner's mother made it over a period of 4 months out of handspun wool dyed with indigo, saffron and cinnamon. This for the price of something mass produced in a factory. Maybe you want to beat me to it?
We saw traditional crafts as well as contemporary takes on traditional Moroccan themes sold in shops that could have been the backdrop for an Indiana Jones movie or as sleek as anything you might find in NYC. Colours were rich, earthy and incredible. Exactly what we need to pull us through a Calgary winter.
Handmade items bring humanity into our homes. Even if you don't make yourself, next time you see a handmade item, pause to think about the skill learned over years, the quality of the materials and the time spend making it. These are things we have lost touch with and yet they really are the stuff of life; the items we use day to day around our homes. The dishes we eat from, the rugs we walk on, the blankets that keep us warm at night. When made by an individual, they create a deeper richer space to live our lives in.
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