I’ve guided the design and crafts tour during the 2nd edition of Amman Design Week, the title of the tour was named after my new established studio: El-Harf, which will be the home of calligraphy and Arabic visual arts.
The tour started from Calligrapher Shehadeh Haroun’s shop, to meet him and learn from his experience in silkscreen printing, Haroun still using the old-school methods that he acquired from the sign painters of Damascus once he was there 50 years ago! I’ve collaborated with Haroun to produce the English lettering of Amman Design Week, and to demonstrate the essential skills and give some funny tips for the tour members.
Then we walked towards downtown and to King Talal street, we had stops on many significant old shop signs that carries Amman’s identity on the past decades, most of those signs have been archived by me a few years ago, and sadly enough that some of them have been removed or stolen by now! We are facing a true danger on a vital essence of our urban and visual history.
The last stop was at King Mohammad street in sign painter Abed Jukhy’s hidden workshop, Jukhy’s shop rests at the ancient part of Amman, once Amman was a small village 100 years ago! Jukhy has received us in this authentic causey shop to present his sign painting and calligraphy techniques, using the traditional lettering brushes and the special metal-signs paint. Jukhy’s showed us the sketch that he developed in order to write the Arabic version of Amman Design Week in Naskh script, then he started the painting process in black color, after that, he added the beautiful white shadow underneath it.
The result was magical!
A beautiful sign is born, represents the typographic aesthetics of Amman, and carried a true social value of artists collaboration. Finally, it was displayed at the networking event, at Beit Shams, everyone liked it! And I personally was more than delighted to host the tour and to revive those important and dying crafts to the design community.