The art of jewelry design is complex and requires a keen eye for detail, achieved with time and effort.
What could be better than bringing the beauty of such art from the heart of Old Jeddah.
Making jewelry can seem a little intimidating as it requires working with solid materials, sharp tools, and a lot of patience. But despite all the difficulties, Ayat Dahi, a young Saudi artist and jeweler from Jeddah, decided to unleash her artistic talents and open her own jewelry studio. At the same time, she also wanted to educate and inspire art among the young people in her society.
Dahi received her master’s degree in jewelry making from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia in 2017. She told Arab News that her interest in crafts was already there, but working towards a degree helped her to to grow.
“I started making jewelry 10 years ago, but I was just a beginner back then,” she said. “The real spark for jewelry making was ignited after I returned from the United States. “
Dealing with craft tools, such as a torch, sandpaper, hammers, and saws, requires a bit of strength and confidence.
“Although the tools I work with are considered dangerous and sharp, you have to be very careful and precise when using them,” Dahi said. “However, the beautiful result will always leave me surprised and impressed.”
She attended the annual Atlanta Jewelry Show in 2017.
“The exhibition brought together jewelry designers from all over in one place,” said Dahi, inspired by her love for coffee. “The pieces on display come from the culture of coffee. I would use a coffee bean in a ring instead of a gemstone and also had double rings which can be worn by couples or friends.
A woman of many talents, Dahi also works as a barista in one of Jeddah’s well-known cafes and was among the very first women to do so in the Kingdom.
She said she always tries to incorporate new items and designs into her jewelry to make it more contemporary and artistic. “In general, I like to produce jewelry that can be worn like jewelry and sometimes I choose to produce works of art with the same tools and techniques used for jewelry,” Dahi said. “However, it doesn’t matter whether the part is portable or not. It’s the process and the piece itself that ends up being beautifully crafted and designed.
She then explained that there are endless techniques in jewelry making. It starts with presenting an idea, researching and sketching the design, then cutting, polishing and soldering.
“I believe that having an artistic imagination for designing is one of the most valuable assets in crafting,” Dahi said. “Once I’m done designing and building a part, I really feel accomplished knowing that I’m the one behind it. “
In 2019, Dahi graduated in Traditional Arts from Jameel House of Tradition Arts, located in old downtown Jeddah, known as Al-Balad. This is also where his workshop is located, near the Nassif House-Museum, built by Omar Nassif in 1881.
“I chose to have a studio in Al-Balad because it is one of the historic neighborhoods dearest to my heart, and I think it is also a very inspiring place for so many people,” she declared.
“I want visitors to experience the true meaning of an art studio, so I chose the Al-Balad neighborhood, where they will have to walk between old streets and alleys to reach the studio.”