11 October 2015

New! Calligraphy Colouring Book for Adults

Colouring books for mindfulness or relaxation are a current "thing" which I was unaware of till a number of people suggested to me, independently, that I should make one. Running across an entire wall of them at WHSmith then confirmed what I already thought: there are none with a Middle-Eastern or Islamic interest. So I got busy and here it is!

There are 50 of my designs in there, reworked into attractive line art, including some completely new ones. They are roughly arranged from simplest to most intricate, and the meaning of the words is indicated. The size is 21.5 cm square, not too big and not too small. I was myself really charmed when the first proof arrived, I was still a bit skeptical about the whole thing until I held this inviting little volume in my hands.

I will have the book in stock soon for direct sales here in London (contact me if you want one), but if you live anywhere else, you can order it directly from my online bookshop.

Preview spreads:

03 December 2014

Silkscreen prints

Silkscreen, or screen printing, is a gorgeous art print technique that produces thick, deep flat colors on cotton paper. The following are printed on Tiziano paper 160 gsm, 44x44 cm, with environmentally-friendly inks. Prices include regular tracked post. Please contact me to order.

Large prints:

Limited edition of 21 prints
Individually gilded by hand
Size: 50x50 cm
Price: £200

Takbîr (There is no God but God)

Medium prints:

Limited editions of 33 prints
Size: 44x44cm
Price: £110

Adab (Courtesy)
Fanâ' (Extinction)
Ishq (Divine Love)
Dhikr (Remembrance)

Shawq (Longing)
Sukûn (Stillness)
Sukût (Silence)
Sirr (Secret, Mystery)

Sa'âda (Happiness)

25 November 2014

Woodblock Prints

I am constantly experimenting with ways of producing small affordable (yet not mechanized) versions of my artwork, and recently have found my bliss in woodblock printing. I enjoy mixing the colours, and the meditative repetition of inking and pressing. It takes one or two full days to produce a two-colour design, taking into account drying time, during which every surface in the studio is mobilized. As the printing process is entirely manual, each print is imperfect and unique, some more distressed than others. So, just in time for Christmas, I'm launching my first few woodblock print designs.

They are printed with water-based inks on Zerkall paper (145 gsm, soft white). They are matted in the same colour and the matted size is 25x25 cm.
Editions are of 50 prints, signed and numbered, and their starting price is £50 — but will rise as they become more rare! So don't wait too long, if a design catches your heart.

Currently available:

48/50 available
Al-Mu'min/Remover of Fear
45/50 available
46/50 available
Al-Waliy/ Friend & Helper
48/50 available

Kimiâ' es-Sa'ada/Alchemy of Happiness
43/50 available

19 October 2014

A lot more space

I have had a very exciting month. Life has given me a large and luminous new space to work in, the largest I've ever had at my disposal, and as a result my work has exploded. I have 3-4 large pieces in the making at any given time, and small studies all over the place.

Up on the wall, below, are planning sketches for pieces in progress... Lots in the works! I also look forward to hosting some courses and open studio events here. There is no internet access, which is a highly recommended state of affairs. On the other hand, Borough Market is nearby (heaven on earth for a foodie), which is a whole other level of distraction.

The first piece I completed in the new space is a monumental version of Al-Mu'min (Remover of Fear), in wood, a stunning 122x122 cm.

To go with this new era, I made some changes to my website. I had been puzzling over what to do for some time, wanting to give the calligraphy its own space without removing everything else, and also wanting to make the contents directly accessible, as opposed to having to click through a splash page first. In the end, I resuscitated Cedarseed.com to host all my more personal or past endeavours, while Majnouna.com is now solely devoted to khatt. A simple click from the main menu flips you from one to the other, so they are still connected, literally two sides of one coin, but it makes it much easier to direct press and clients to the calligraphy. I still need to get my work of the last few months on the site, and for that may need to rethink this page, but this can wait a little longer...

15 July 2014

Invitation: The Secret Garden of Alif

We are 4 women creatives, 4 winds blowing between the Levant and London, 4 directions of Arabic calligraphy which we invite you to discover in: 

The Secret Garden of Alif

An open house and open heart event offering affordable art*, mutual encounters, scarves, live creation, pillows, homemade Mideastern treats – all amidst the whispers of Alif.

*For this event only, we are all discounting our work.

Sunday 27 July, 11:00-19:00

12 Charrington Street, NW1 1RS (close to St Pancras and the British Library)


Joumana Medlej was trained in graphic design but always craved more meaningful expressions of creativity. She learned the essence of Kufi, the first Arabic script to be consciously made beautiful, through years of close collaboration with master calligrapher Samir Sayegh. He impressed upon her how to breathe new life into a traditional art, not merely copying or reviving its old forms but finding a contemporary language for it. Joumana is specially interested in the unique relationship between Kufi and geometry, both sacred arts. Her work seeks to uncover hidden order, how the words choose to reveal themselves, and evoke the magic that comes through when form and meaning are one.

Greta Khoury developed a fascination for Islamic calligraphy and the poetry of forms while designing graphic identities and typefaces.
She embarked on a journey to discover the history of the art and explore ways to bring its spirit into contemporary design practice. She encountered along the way many inspiring masters who each in their own way have taught her that forms are carriers of very ancient messages where sounds become words, words become forms and forms become constant reminders of the wonders of life.

Dia Batal's art/design work is a result of her interest in creating pieces that respond to her identity in content and aesthetics. It is the outcome of an admiration of Arabic calligraphy, language and the traditional art of working with text. She borrows from that, and finds ways of creating limited edition pieces in a contemporary language. The work she does is often context specific and enables audience and user to physically engage with it. Dia uses a free style Arabic ‘type’ that she’s developed to create an object, and tell its story, while looking at the possible transformations of the text, in relation to its meaning, the space it occupies, and function of that object itself. ... 

Noor Saab was fascinated by abstract orderly geometric patterns from a young age, and found herself naturally drawn into the world of Kufic script and arabesque patterns. Growing up in Beirut and then moving to London, her work is an expression of a strong oriental identity engaging with a plethora of western influences, constantly embracing the coexistence of opposites… the old and the new, the conservative and the rebel, the traditional and the modern. Come discover her debut collection of scarves - Salam, in a bold and vibrant tribute to peace. 

Please pass the word on. We look forward to welcoming you!

24 June 2014

Mini Calligraphic Prints

Currently available designs. £25 + shipping; please contact me to order.

Spiritual Aspiration (5 left)

These little jewels are a response to many requests for small-scale art. They are postcard-sized, high quality prints on very fine extra-heavy paper, with highlights gilded or painted by hand – so they are limited editions with only 10 of each. Once gone, they are not made again!
Each print is in itself 105x148 mm; mattes are 150x210 mm. Each is signed and numbered with more info on the back. 

01 May 2014

Quick Food, not Fast Food: Double Chocolate Brownies

These brownies have a lighter texture than usual and melt in the mouth.

Original recipe here.

19 March 2014

Calligraphic greeting cards

I tested printing greeting cards with Moo.com, and as the results were lovely and there was some interest, I'm putting them on the market.
The cards are 10x15cm and come with their envelope. They are priced at £2.00 per card, or £1.75 each if you take 5 or more cards, with free shipping within the UK or to Europe. If ordering from elsewhere I'll calculate postage for you.

Click on the image to see it full-size with the names of the designs. Please check the list below for availability, as this was a test run so I have only 1 card for each design. Whether I reprint will depend on the demand! Leave a comment with the card(s) you want and I'll email you for your address.

  1. Courtesy
  2. God
  3. Remembrance
  4. Dawn
  5. Hadith
  6. She
  7. Dream
  8. Angels
  9. Service
  10. Imagination
  11. Genesis
  12. Divine Love
  13. Grace
  14. Heart
  15. Story
  16. Bond
  17. Soul
  18. Happiness
  19. Presence
  20. Ecstasy
  21. The Loving
  22. Secret
  23. Thankfulness
  24. Longing

17 March 2014

Les poissons, les poissons

Artists need to create like they need to breathe... but they need breaks from seriousness as much as anyone else. This was my weekend break, attacking my pile of washi paper from Japan I never dare to use, and livening up our closet-like bathroom. Not an original idea, it's been done before, but so pretty. Flatmates' reaction pending.

20 February 2014

Breezy Bread: Challah

This Jewish braided bread, close in taste and texture to a brioche, is so tasty! It's usually made with 3 (as here), 5, 6 or even 7 strands. Lots more info about it here.