Figures of tunisian handcraft
At the dawn of independence, even though we turned away from a lifestyle that now seems outdated, Aly BELLEGHA delivers handicraft to date with determination, infusing the tradition a second life.
He is also working with the task of compiling an inventory of trades and objects. His passion for object makes him a collector and transformed his studio into a real museum. "Les métiers" Gallery presents a different way of conceiving the utility craft object, diverting it from its primary role and offering another way of being.
Guild Master Habib Basly
The Kairouan Chandeliers
Habib Basly was born on 26 December 1913 in Koirouan. He inherited the title of guild master of the brassware makers in 1946 oafter the death of his father Mahmoud Basty. Who had succeeded guild master All Zribi.
Though he swore that he had never known how to put together a chandelier when his father was alive, he greatly valued his title of guild master of the brassware makers In 1962, he set up business in Tunis at 31 Avenue de La Liberté, and devoted himself entirely to brassware making, more precisely the manufacturing of Kairouan chandeliers.
Indeed, he is the man who turned chandelier making into a real trade, and invented a host of tools of his own, some of which are real gadgets, like the blower, used to point bits of glass with a minimum amount of pain.
The chandelier making trade, which developed in the 1970s and 1980s along with tou-rism in Tunisia, brings together several specialties: glass making brass working (using copper and zinc), painting, and an inkling of the artist's craft Habib Basly won several awards.
Including the best worker award At the dawn of the New Era In 1987. The President of the Republic paid tribute to him at the Handicrafts 'rode Show. His chandeliers adorn and light up most of our hotels.
He passed away on 19 August 1991. At present, one of his grandsons is carrying on the tradition at to Artisans' Village in Den Den
MOHAMED EL ABASSI
A Master Craftsman in Checheya Making
Mohamed El Abassi and Co is one of the oldest Tunisian firms in the making of pure (merino) weal, top quality checheyas (hats). It is located near the Hamouda Pacha Mosque In the medina, the old city of Tunis.
The firm's founder was the late Mohamed El Abassi, who was born on 3 October 1930 and died on 3 October 2000. He had learnt his trade -originating from Andalusia- in his early youth from his father the late Arbi El Abassi, an experienced professional and a master craftsman in the trade of CheCheya making. He was elected guild master of the che¬cheya making trade in 1990.
Since October 2000 his daughter Aida has taken over the firm's management and administration.
Foisted in 1945, the firm provides direct or indirect employment to several hundred people, particularly in the Tunis, Ariana and Bizerta regions.
70% of the firm's products are designed for exportation, mostly to African countries and Libya; the remainder is for home consumption.
Since its establishment, Mohamed El Abassi and Co has received several awards and prizes:
- The President of the Republic's Award in 1997
- The Best Recommended Shop Award in 2000 and 2001
- High standards and respect for traditional requirements are the firm’s distinctive features
Hmida Ouahada, Weaver
A Passion For Handicrafts
Born in Gafsa, Hmida Ouohada, weaver, made murals in Gafsa weave that earned him the admira¬tion of connaisseurs. His Gafsa klims and his Aouled Boussaid mergoums have designs Inspired by regional customs, such as scenes represen¬ting marriages, souks or caravans. He also wove portraits of famous scholars, such as ibnu Sina (Avicenna) or Pasteur.
He had a passion for handcrafts in the region, and was creative and inventive in his work.
At a very early age, on 1 December 1953, he joined the Tunisian Crafts Office. In 1965, he was appointed regional administrator of the National handicrafts Office, a position he held for over twenty years.
After his retire-ment, he continued his creative work and his training and advisory activities until his death on 6 February 2001