The Damasq Project

Mosaic is an ancient art with roots going back thousands of years. In 1860s Damascus, a craftsman named George Bitar perfected the art of Inlay by grafting local wood with mother-of-pearl, silver & ivory. While other Levant countries produce similar handicrafts, Syrian mosaic became considered the best in the world for its high standards of quality, precision and beauty.

By creating this new art form during a period of civil war in Syria’s history, George Bitar brought light in times of darkness and fear.

As an artist, I hold a high regard to art forms that require intricate skill, talent, and training. The art of Mother-of-pearl and wood inlay (Sadef) famously esteemed in Syria and other Levant countries exemplifies a unique craft loved the world over.
It was my wish to design a collection that paid homage to the gifted craftsman and workshops who have been creating this art form over many generations, and whose craft is now in danger due to displacement and war.
So I spent the better part of a year creating my own version of mother-of-pearl and wood inlay, but digitally. In order to really be able to recreate the look, I digitally hand laid each piece onto my artboard so as to mimic the hand touched feel of an artisan working in their workshop. It took months, and much trial and error to arrive at a pattern and color palette that I felt not only paid homage to the craft but also represented the modernEID brand.
In the spirit of Bitar, our Damasq Collection features a modern interpretation of this exquisite art whose gifted workshops are now dwindling due to war. 

All the products in this collection were designed and printed in the US. However, to bring the project full circle, I teamed up with San Diego based The Jamila Collective, a jewelry brand led by Megan that is crafted by a team of Syrian refugee women she employs. In partnership, these women packaged our entire Damasq collection prepping it for shipment.

By purchasing products from the Damasq Collection, you will help support an initiative to raise funds and donate to charities dedicated to empowering underserved populations and helping refugees re-settle and rebuild their lives. 

This year, we have chosen to work directly with a local charity, Access California Services

Access California Services is a culturally sensitive community-based organization dedicated to empowering all underserved populations, with a focus on Arab-American & Muslim-American communities. They strive to enhance quality of life and foster self-determination through direct health & human services.

Access California Services helps underserved communities find jobs, acquire health coverage, learn English, receive financial assistance, and receive counseling and support services.

 

Thank you for supporting this collection and charity with your purchase, and I hope that this unique art form brings beauty and grace to your home.


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