Last Update 11:5
Monday, 23 April 2018

Egyptian designer Azza Fahmy's pieces feature in Dutch museum's jewellery exhibition

Netherlands' National Museum of Ethnography has selected three designs by Egyptian jewellery designer Azza Fahmy

Ingy Deif , Monday 5 Feb 2018
One of three-piece collection to represent Egypt in Netherlands, Photo courtesy of Azza Fahmy
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Acclaimed Egyptian designer Azza Fahmy is showing three pieces of jewellery in the winter exhibition at the Museum Volkenkunde, the national museum of ethnography at the Netherlands.

The exhibition, titled "Jewelry: Made By, Worn By", is the largest ever display of jewellery by a Dutch museum, featuring almost 1,000 items from around the world.

According to the museum, the exhibition seeks to explore "how people around the world adorn themselves" as well as zooming in on the makers, their techniques "and the extraordinary stories of some of those who wear the jewellery."

Fahmy's contribution consists of three hand-crafted pieces from her previous Classics and Suma collections. The pieces manifest some of Fahmy's established techniques, such as filigree, calligraphy, and hand-piercing. The calligraphy incorporates lyrics from iconic Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum.

The collection is made of a mix of sterling silver and gold, and consists of a Suma bangle, a Fatima ring, and a pair of earrings.

The exhibition, which runs until 3 June, also incorporates the museum’s own collection, spanning several centuries, providing an insight into the broad range of designs, techniques and materials used throughout history.

One of three-piece collection to represent Egypt in Netherlands, Photo courtesy of Azza Fahmy
One of the collection to represent Egypt in Netherlands, Photo courtesy of Azza Fahmy

Fahmy started out in the late 1970s, setting a revolutionary trend for jewellery making in Egypt, moving away from the typical bracelets and rings, introducing jewellery inspired by Nubian architecture and Arabic calligraphy.

She began as an apprentice in the workshops of Cairo's Khan El-Khalili, learning the secrets of this centuries-old craft. She then opened her own workshop, turning out carefully crafted pieces that employed traditional designs with a modern twist. Within a few years, she had established herself as a leading name in Egyptian jewellery, working with well-known names from the fashion world, such as designer Mathew Williamson.

Her work is now acclaimed worldwide, not only for her carefully researched designs, but also for the traditional workshop methods that have their roots in the Ottoman era.

One of three-piece collection to represent Egypt in Netherlands, Photo courtesy of Azza Fahmy
Hand of Fatima, One of three-piece collection to represent Egypt in Netherlands, Photo courtesy of Azza Fahmy

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