Sheikha Al-Ali, an Emirati woman who transforms desert sand into modern design

From the vocabulary of the authentic Emirati heritage, Emirati creator Sheikha Al-Ali is inspired by her designs, which combine traditional craftsmanship on the one hand and modern touches on the other, using untraditional materials in her innovations that appeal to them. , looking for. for unique pieces.

Sheikha said her work aims to present the Emirati heritage with its own vision and to make it known to the public. That is why she launched her “Studio Story” project in 2017, to tell through her products that combine old and modern, stories about life in the Emirates and its wonderful nature and heritage. Aseel adds in his interview with “Emirates Today”: “I am interested in preserving the spirit of traditional craftsmanship, and at the same time I seek to use it to create a new and different work from what is widespread or known, such as (dub “the shoe, whose design was inspired by the dunes that characterize the desert of the Emirates. And the region, and is characterized by high transparent heels, containing sand from the Dubai desert, an expression of the identity of the Bedouins.”

She explained that the success achieved with “Kuthb” prompted her to submit five designs of it. Others were also made different and unknown to the traditional mantle.

Sheikha’s products were not limited to just shoes and fashion, as she presented distinctive pieces, such as a photo frame with sand from the desert, incense of pure travertine and brass, as well as bags that combine traditional Japanese culture and painted henna inscriptions. in the traditional Emirati way.

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Sheikha Al-Ali, who studied design and marketing and also joined the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, expressed her pride in being a part of the House of Craftsmen, from the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, in activities of the fifth edition of the International Biennial of Arts and Crafts in Paris 2022. It was held in the Grand Palais Ifemere showroom in the French capital, Paris, from the ninth to the 12th of June this year. It is formed from calcium carbonate deposits to form over many years impressive rock carvings.

The design combines ceramics and traditional sauveh art with camel skins. Sheikha pointed out that she used female craftsmen from the city of Al Ain to implement the design idea with these different materials, which was not an easy task. The Emirates drew in addition to their participation in the permanent exhibition in the House of Craftsmen. a shoe called “Crossing the Coasts”, inspired by the traditional sea art and gargoor fishing, and used oysters collected from the various emirates of the country in its manufacture.

Combine the old with the new

Sheikha Al-Ali believed that her tendency to design that combines traditional craftsmanship and modernity does not limit her freedom to design and implement pieces, but rather this combination helps her to present different and unusual works, especially as it is aimed at those who want it. to acquire exotic and unique pieces.

She added: “My interest in heritage represents an element of excellence in my designs because from the beginning I seek to present unique pieces that suit the tastes of those who love and value diversity, but at the same time implement the designs that I put the most difficult part of my work, because it is based on the combination of different materials, and I have to. That it is made by skilled craftsmen, it took me a year to implement a shoe design (close), and I experiment for to achieve it exactly as I wish. “


Difficulty..it’s normal

about the difficulties she encounters in her work; The designer, Sheikha Al-Ali, said that the obstacles a person encounters are normal in all areas of work and that she has learned to take advantage of her mistakes and use them as a tool for self-development.

Her ambition is to open a studio to sell her products and actually deal with her customers instead of relying solely on e-marketing.

Sheikha Al-Ali:

“My interest in heritage is an element of excellence in my designs because from the beginning I strive to present unique pieces that suit the tastes of those who appreciate diversity.”

“I am interested in preserving the spirit of traditional craftsmanship, and at the same time I seek to use it to create new work that is different from that which is widespread or known.”

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