April 14, 2024
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Meet the Saudi woman transforming Arabic literature into wearable art

June 18, 202321:22

Maryah Abdudeeb launched Mashq in 2021. (Supplied)

Maryah Abdudeeb launched Mashq in 2021. (Supplied)

RIYADH: Maryah Abudeeb’s jewelry creations begin with the stroke of a calligraphy brush and end with the design of masterpieces inspired by poetry and literature.

Abudeeb, a sourcing specialist, is the founder of Mashq, a jewelry brand named after an ancient and classic form of calligraphy. The word translates to “stretch out,” which is what is done to Arabic letters in the calligraphy form.

Her inspiration began at a young age when she saw her father scribe and her mother create handcrafted pieces.

The designs feature verses and lines from some of her favorites works of Arabic poetry and literature. (Supplied)

Describing how they inspired her art, she said: “My dad is a great calligrapher. I grew up watching the beauty of Arabic calligraphy done by his hands, which to this day still inspires and drives me.

“My mother has a creative soul and creates beauty out of nothing, whether it’s a simple toy or an artistic masterpiece, which made me become passionate about anything crafted by hand.”

Traveling to various countries and seeing buildings adorned with historic Arabic writing opened up new worlds for Abudeeb.

The designs feature verses and lines from some of her favorites works of Arabic poetry and literature. (Supplied)

She was also moved when she came across jewelry that had calligraphy engraved on it, each piece telling a personal story.

Islamic art has a special place in Abudeeb’s heart, and she believes it “should be displayed and appreciated.”

“I like to read Islamic design books to educate myself on the various designs and phrases that are inspired by Islamic art,” she said.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Abudeeb had an epiphany.

Mashq is a jewelry brand that specializes in Arabic calligraphy designs. (Supplied)

She thought to herself, “why not combine both of my passions, jewelry and Arabic handwriting, into one?”

That was the beginning of Mashq.

In March 2021, Abudeeb launched her first collection. She was involved in the process as the calligrapher and designer behind each piece of jewelry.

The designs feature verses and lines from some of her favorites works of Arabic poetry and literature.

The whole idea is that when the person wears the piece, the phrase becomes a reflection of how they feel or becomes a source of motivation.

Maryah Abudeeb, Jewelry designer

Abudeeb explained the design process: “After I write it (in calligraphy) to the best of my ability, the phrase is drawn into 3D using a specific program for jewelry design.

“The piece is then developed, either by hand or by a machine, depending on the size and design of the piece.”

According to Abudeeb, the key to the perfect piece of jewelry is the way it makes a person feel.

The designs feature verses and lines from some of her favorites works of Arabic poetry and literature. (Supplied)

Using different phrases and materials, such as silver, gold plating and gems, she creates each piece with the intention of helping the customers feel connected to the engraved words.

“The whole idea that when the person wears the piece, the phrase becomes a reflection of how they feel or becomes a source of motivation.”

For Abudeeb, working on collections for Mashq has been a learning process.

“As I started from scratch, I have gained so much knowledge in the jewelry industry, from drawing to repairing the piece itself,” she said.

Although learning about the jewelry industry from scratch was challenging for someone with limited practical experience, Abudeeb persevered and refused to be discouraged.

She hopes to release a larger collection in the future, using pure gold, and to expand the Mashq men’s collection.

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