Art isn’t a result; it’s a journey (Seth Godin, 2012)- an experience that can always be felt but not necessarily communicated. I’m sure most of us would agree that the true appreciation of a designer’s/artist’s work cannot be restricted to the mere visual beauty but in fact extends much further and beyond it – to the creator’s journey and inspirations.
Upon first viewing the collection by ‘Craft by two’, it was really love at first sight! And I was instantly driven to a state of trance – back to the times of the 17th Century rustic interiors,
though there is definitely an echo of a modern twist there. Some of my favourite pieces from their collection include:
Enraptured by their spellbound collection I couldn’t help feeling inquisitive and in my quest for wanting to know more I approached the talented creators Mr Saeid and his wife Luisa to know more about their journey (amounting to about 20 years now in this creative field) – Mr Saeid is an architectural photographer, and Luisa an interior designer/space planner. Their choice of materials such as recycled wood, (gas/water) pipes, rusted metal as well as the sensor technology employed, most definitely echo hints of their backgrounds in engineering and computer sciences – click on this link to view one of their creations employing the sensor technology.
To excel in the globally interconnected design world today, I strongly feel that a ‘muti-cultural exposure’ forms one of the main ingredients for a successful design career; and there’s no doubt that ‘craft by two’ has been nurtured under a similar influence. Having lived in the UAE for nearly 17 years, Mr Saied and Luisa moved to the Philippines and Iran a few years back and drew on their experiences there in order to stimulate and tone their creative efforts often participating in crafts and weekend markets. Specifically in Iran, they gathered all the inspiration they could from up cycling the plumbing spare parts and electrical wires around them (while living in an orchard and being involved in all the electrical work and plumbing). One of their first creations was a ‘coca-cola bottle lamp’.
In 2015 the couple moved back to the UAE – much to the delight of craft-lovers like us!:). Their focus is to create timeless artefacts by keeping them as basic as possible; to use materials in their most original form; in other words, an attempt to make it everlasting in spirit; often showcasing the cracks and holes in materials as valuable features of the product – identifying ever so closely with the Japanese ‘wabi-sabi’ concept – one of the Japanese ideals I revere the most!
According to the talented duo, at the moment ‘Craft by Two’ is doing particularly well in providing industrial furniture and lighting for commercial spaces and private homes, having just recently finished lighting, shelves and display units for a bar and a boutique as well. Another niche where the business is doing especially well is the corporate gifts sector where there seems to be a shortage of original and unique gifts in the market. According to the experts themselves, the main contributing factor to their success in such a short time is the fact they are designers, crafters and fabricators, all in one – which prevents the other wise loss in energy/synergy owing to designers having to convey ideas to fabricators who then in turn come up with the final product. “We are absolutely thrilled to be back in the UAE. After having travelled and tried our hands at doing business in a few other countries, we really do believe there is no place like the UAE for design opportunities” says the couple.
For me, the rudimentary/elementary design forms make Craft by Two products compatible with both traditional as well as modern/contemporary design schemes. With artistic influences ranging from the 1930’s Art Deco, the 1970’s Eclecticism and Maximalism on its way back, such customized/rare artisanry is sure to resonate with the design ideals today!
Here are some ideas; also adding that dash of colour to kick up and enliven a typically rustic (yet modern) design scheme incorporating ‘Craft By Two’ masterpieces:
Sources – 1,3 & 4: Craft By Two , 2: Design-Dautore , 5 , 6 , 7: Design-Dautore , 8, 9, 10, 11: An old burlap sack converted into a window accessory , 12: Henge Mushroom Table, 13: Aluminium Chain Curtain Wall Covering, 14, 15, 16.