The Art Center is located in Harraina,
about 10 miles from down town Cairo
and well worth visiting.
It is built and developed about 50 years ago
by architect Ramses Wissa Wassef ,
with workshops, museum and living quarters,
surrounded by beautiful gardens.
The museum part had tapestries and sculptures
made during these years.
had a special vision and philosophy
for how children could develop their artistic sense,
by following three rules.
"No preliminary sketches or cartoons,
no external aesthetic influences,
and no critical interference from adults",
could ensure that
"every child's inspiration
sprang entirely from within,
and fueled by contact
with her or his own environment
rather than through an adult's sensibilities..."
Close-up from the full picture above
Children from the nearby village
was "invited to come
and learn the technique of tapestry
and provide them with what they needed
to translate their imagination and feelings
into woven images."
Wool on cotton warp
Here is no pattern.
Except for a general idea, they create as they weave.
We got to see weavers at work.
They come when they have time,
between joggling family and cooking.
Some bring their children or toddlers
This one was asleep on his mothers lap, as we walked in
Cotton thread on cotton warp
Very fine and intricate
As they enter the gates of the Art Center,
they leave all stress of daily life behind,
and let their creativity flow free.
We where told that
the men spend more time weaving,
than the women,
since they have less responsibilities at home.
In the surrounding gardens,
they grow plant used for coloring the yarn.
The coloring process takes part every fall and spring
(I would love to visit at that time).
Sophie Wissa Wassef,
wife of Ramses, and a watercolour artist,
introduced batik painting.
Coloring and drying, happens outside.
"Unlike the weaver,
the batik artist must know exactly where he is going
before he starts.."
The results are fabulous and rich in color.
Thanks for visiting,
and have a great day!
(info in parentheses is taken from the book
sold at the Art center)