irthi contemporary crafts council will debut its landmark first product line – a wide-ranging collection of pieces intended to celebrate and empower uae women through craft. the pioneering initiative has the twin aims of celebrating traditional and modern crafts while elevating female artisans, socially and economically.
based in sharjah, uae, irthi crafts council works to represent, foster and promote artisanal crafts across the middle east, north africa and south east asia. a socially and culturally pioneering initiative, irthi was developed from the nama women’s advancement establishment, which empowers women through the preservation of traditional and modern crafts.
this september irthi will launch their first line of products at the fair, the museum line, the collection a result of two projects carried out by the council: design labs and crafts dialogue. the work includes handblown glass from palestine, woven japanese grass tapestries and stools sand-cast in sharhaj.
some of the highlights: fatima al zaabi and venice-based architect matteo silverio’s material exploration of the contrasts between inherently fragile murano glass and sturdy, hard-wearing emirati clay within a single object.
misbah jewellery by irthi’s trainees and pakistan-based, mother/daughter-led lél, whose workforce consists of afghani artisans displaced by conflict. the collection focuses on misbah prayer beads as both pieces of jewellery and sculptural designs for the home, using traditional talli weaving techniques.
seating by ghaya bin mesmar and mermelada estudio. inspired by the sight of a traditional areesh palm-frond house blown into a strangely majestic conical form by the wind, the chair adopts this form, allowing for both privacy and protection from the elements. it combines traditional and modern safeefah weaving techniques and its vibrant colors are inspired by the rainbow of regional spices.
find irthi in hall 2