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Rock & Oyster



Kawther Alsaffar

Brass, Copper, Painted Glass

Rock & Oyster is a new lighting collection designed in a remote collaboration between Salsabeel Amin in Egypt, and Kawther Alsa ar in Kuwait. The lighting xtures celebrate and contrast the rough dual-casting with the delicacy of the hand-painted, blown-glass, developed with local artisans in both nations.
The objects expose the expanding opportunities provided by combining a thorough understanding of traditional craft, with technology and design. A material-driven approach, supports the local abilities, through simple and minimal interventions in form. This suggests an open dialogue between the 3D printed digital fabrication of the Oyster, with the rough nature of the found rocks.

The pieces also highlight the similarities between the craft and material cultures in both nations. Kuwait and Egypt have a natural trade route due to their proximity, and exchange in craft opportunities. Both nations have historically engrained labor-intensive craft processes. However, the creation of a class gap between labor and wealth in Kuwait created a migration of craft knowledge from Egypt to Kuwait since the 1950’s, as Egyptian artisans looked for new opportunities in a developing Oil-rich nation.

The crafts in Kuwait and Egypt have an overlapping but varied evolution in response to the craftsmen’s assumed local needs, due to consumer pressure for low-cost, false-luxury goods. Most of the craftsmen and materials used in the dual-casting process in Kuwait are in-fact from Egypt. But there is a severe lack in the craftsmen’s ingrained life-long knowledge to meet the needs for quality and changing local culture. The two individual designers interventions in education, design, technique, and quality control over the years, only allow the pieces to be made across the two nations. The outcome embraces the pressure of production adversity. A symbol of the cross-pollination of the two sister nations.

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