Glass blowers in City of the Dead
In an Islamic necropolis located in Southeastern Cairo, the family of the glass blowers resides.
On this vast graveyard, amongst mausoleums and tombs a community has sprouted. This community of people, forced out of residential areas of Cairo due to over population, has now created their own village in the city, living next to the dead.
The part of the necropolis where the glass blowers are working is peaceful and tranquil. People mind their business in a calm way, much unlike the rest of Cairo. When you enter the alley, you see all the colourful glass outside the small workshop, glasses, bottles and gold decorated perfume flacons. Inside the colours sparkles from all angles.
The glass designs in the ByHAA collection is all made from recycled glass to create minimum waste material and to give what some may consider garbage a chance for a second life.
Wood collective in Kamba district
In Kenya some of the best wood carvers in the world can be found. After extensive research, amazing journeys through mountain landscapes and flat grasslands and an extended collection of samples from carvers all over the country, finally a visit to the Kamba tribe in the Central Highlands of Kenya put and end to the search.
The Kamba tribe is traditionally known for their woodcarving skills. Knowing that commercial cutting of trees will damage their land, members of the Kamba tribe has created a collective where wood is sustainably harvested and new trees are planted. This way they can maintain the local source of wood. Their speciality is intricate sculptural carving, but in the ByHAA products we have emphasized the smooth surfaces and the almost invisible touch showing the work of different hands shaping the simple designs.
Masonry from the banks of the Nile
Already during the Pharaonic era, Egyptians used the stones found in the nearby mountains to do impressive carvings. The transparent alabaster stone and the softer snow white lime alabaster workshops are till this day still located on the banks of the Nile in South Egypt with a breathtaking backdrop of the ancient necropolis, Valley of the kings.
Harder stones such as the Egyptian marble and the black and green granite are also found in South Egyptian mountains, but then transported to Cairo where the workshop uses simple machinery to cut the rocks.
The white alabaster is carved by hand solely and the process of hardening the stone takes 5 days. Each day after being cut, the stone is covered in material soaked with a silica solution to harden and strengthen the stone for the next day's carving.