Samar Itani: Crafts from the heart

Prestige issue 259, February 2015

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Samar Itani. © Archives Samar Itani

You participate this month in an exhibition of painting on glass abroad … Yes, from February 1st to the 15th  , there is a craft exhibition held in India, as part of «International Surajkund Crafts Mela 2015» during which I present my new collection of mirrors and glassware decorated in the colors of Lebanon. Twenty artisans from all over Lebanon are also involved with food and other products typical of the country. For over ten years I have been a member of the Union of Lebanese craftsmen, I aim and other colleagues to worthily represent our country by reviving and promoting Lebanese heritage craft. In a simple and beautiful way.

In which exhibitions do you participate? I regularly participate in exhibitions held in Beirut at Zaitunay Bay. I represented Lebanon at «Lubnaneyat» held in Kuwait, and participated in a solo exhibition of calligraphy and oriental art in Saudi Arabia, as well as Canada, to unveil the traditions of Old Quebec. Besides the costumes I’ve created for the performance of Folk Dance, in compliance with canadian family traditions, won the first prize at the American University of Beirut. Finally, L’Artisan du Liban holds a permanent exhibition of my creations.

«I would love to continue developing my craft, so that it would represent the lebanese spirit in the best way.»

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© Archives Samar Itani

How did you come to the craft world? To succeed in life, one must love what he does. My passion for this art goes back to my childhood when on school benches, I presented my end of the year project, the Sultan Saladin portrait, not in simple drawing but rather a mosaic with colorful bugs. Later, I made interior design studies, but my heart has looked for artisanal creation.

Tell us about your collection of mirrors … My new collection of 40x40cm mirrors decorated with semiprecious stones and colored stones, is vintage and customized. The red color is new; pearls reveal the person’s delicacy. The mirror is fixed on a transparent Plexiglas that gives gradient wonderful colors. I also put together a collection of mirrors to newborns, boys and girls and for children aged 8 to 10 years.

What characterizes your work? My experience in crafts date for a quarter century. My pieces are unique, light and affordable. My work reflects my feelings, my mood, I am close to my creation. I spend the morning training the girls and ladies on crafts in my studio in Verdun. I must say that I have been teaching for 20 years drawing and crafts at Fabriano Institute and in various technical centers. And at night, I devote myself to my favorite hobby, creation. Pitchers colored heat resistant, wicker chairs typical of Lebanese villages, hookah, stained glass, the basket of the garden, hat, broom, «jern» which was used to beat the «Kibbe» and others, decorated with blue stone and other colored stones that recall the beauty of Lebanon.

For more information: Facebook: samarhandicraft

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