Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Morning at the Artisanal Complex (Co-op) in Marrakesh


Sunny morning with rooftop breakfast...


... led to a jaunt towards the medina and the exploration of the Artisan Co-op.


Like most of the co-ops, care and money and skill have been used in spades in the decor and construction of the building...



... all the details are taken care of!!




It seems everything is incorporated: wood carving, painting, metal filigree, design, weaving, tile work, colour... all gorgeous!
Walking around the complex was great; didn't have to worry too much about being accosted and forced to haggle over cost for items that one might not even have wanted. Don't get me wrong, the haggling was fun (and funny), but the amount of times in a day (or even a few hours) that we were 'approached' or invited to look, or to come back, with calls of Ladies! Germany!! Denmark!! Norway? (Oh, Canada! Quebec???) Excuse me excuse me excuse me! and promised a good price was sometimes not welcome. I found that often instead of enjoying a moment or appreciating someone's work/ideas/creativity, I felt like I had to rush out of the alley of shops and beautiful displays of colours and wares and art because I couldn't buy any of it, and I didn't want to be dragged into the whole process of haggling  and chatting only to turn someone down at the end. No-one took us at our word when we said we're not going to buy anything, and then, after all the effort and salesmanship, there was a lot of disappointment when we left without making a purchase.


The prices are said to be a bit higher perhaps than one might find after spending time looking and haggling in the souks, but I think all in all they were still more than fair from what I could see.



We were able to see carpets being tied one knot at a time on vertical looms...





...cloths of cactus silk and cotton woven on horizontal looms...


... the bow-lathe directed by feet used to carve chess pieces and beautiful cedar boxes with secret compartments, intricate inlay, gorgeous bowls-- endless beauty and skill of craft!!...



... the painting of the cedar doors, boxes, home details...


... and surprise! Felting! This was the only place where we saw felted products of this nature during this trip...



A very cool selection of boots!



And lovely hats. Which I left in Morocco.




Samples of ornate tile-work for all sorts of purposes...


...ceramics... specifically tajines!


At outdoor take-out places, this is what a tajine rests on while it gets fired (heated)...


... and the take-out man has quite a few different kinds on the go, briquettes burning and food being heated. Lovely smells!!

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