In one of my earlier posts I wrote that I am about to cover all the building blocks of Moroccan architecture; today, I focus on Aziz the plasterer and Hassan the tiller.

Historically, patrons of the art used tiles (zellige) to decorate their homes as a statement of luxury and the sophistication of the inhabitants. Zellige is typically a series of patterns utilizing colorful geometric patterns. This framework of expression arose from the need of Islamic artists to create spatial decorations that avoided depictions of living things, consistent with the teachings of Islamic law.

The process of laying and fitting the tiles is complex as the tiles are being cut into small intricate pieces; then laid face down and any additional adjustment is made to ensure a snug fit.

Traditionally, plaster work is done on site by highly trained individuals who have mastered their skills over time. However, if a pattern is being repeated it is possible to form a silicon template into which the plaster is being poured and later assembled on location.

Being an individual who appreciates all hand crafts  and loves learning the various traditions, watching Aziz and Hassan brought me much happiness and I thank them for all the patience they have shown, while I tried to photograph the masters at their work.

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